Maryvale Preparatory School in Brooklandville announced Thursday, March 8, that Tracey Ford, a former trustee at the school, will take over as the school's next president on July 1, 2012.

Ford will be the first layperson to serve as president in the school's 66-year history.

She will succeed Sr. Shawn Marie Maguire, who has led the school as president and headmistress since 1981.

"I am honored to have been selected as Maryvale's next president," Ford said in a statement from the school, "especially given the remarkable opportunity to build on Sr. Shawn 30-year legacy, and the dedication of the other sisters who guided Maryvale throughout the school's history.Currently the director of development at Towson University, Ford worked in that same capacity at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson from 1981 to 1999, and then as assistant head of school for advancement at St. Paul's School for Girls from 1999 to 2008.

"Tracey's dedication to Catholic education and her understanding of the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur make her an excellent choice as the first lay leader of Maryvale," said Brian Jarboe, chair of the Board of Trustees, in the release. "Her background and experience at the secondary and college levels has prepared her to lead Maryvale into the future."

Ford, a University of Virginia graduate who earned her master's in administrative science from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, has also been involved in numerous other organization.

In addition to fundraising for the Randolph-Macon College and Bucknell University lacrosse teams, Ford is on the Marketing Advisory Board at Summit Financial Group, and has worked on the Jefferson Scholars Selection Committee at the University of Virginia and was a founding member of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust.

According to the release, Ford's appointment comes after a thorough regional and national search completed by Maryvale's Presidential Search Committee.

"During my time on the board and throughout the search process, I was continually inspired by the richness of the school's programs, and the depth of its spirituality that directly puts faith into action, and the robust academic, athletic and artistic offerings," Ford said.

"But most importantly," she said, "I was amazed by the girls."