U.S. District Court Judge Landya McCafferty Returning to SDS as Graduation Speaker

May 28, 2014

SPARTANBURG, SC – Spartanburg Day School alumna Landya Boyer McCafferty (’80) will take a short recess from her duties as district judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to return to the SDS campus next week as the keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony.

McCafferty, who in February was sworn in as the first female judge on the N.H. court, will address the 33 seniors in the SDS Class of 2014, perhaps to inspire them much in the same way she says her former SDS teachers inspired her.

At her investiture, McCafferty took a moment to publicly recognize the immeasurable influence of one particular teacher, advisor and coach, Jo Woodyard, who retired from SDS in 2012 after devoting 44 years to the school. McCafferty spoke of a connection between teacher and student “that was the central positive influence in my life… I think it’s fair to say I would not be standing here today without her.”

While at SDS, McCafferty won numerous academic honors, participated in notable community service opportunities, played field hockey, basketball and softball and became the third female in the school’s history to be elected student body president. Head of School Rachel Deems said the school is honored to welcome McCafferty home

“Her journey beyond the Day School has been an amazing story of accomplishment and success, one which she readily attributes to the preparation she received during her years at Spartanburg Day School,” Deems said. “It will be touching to witness a circle completed as Judge McCafferty returns to honor and inspire our senior class as they embark on their own journeys of accomplishment and success.”

Prior to her current appointment, McCafferty served in the same N.H. court as a magistrate judge. She previously worked as disciplinary counsel for the state’s attorney discipline office but spent most of her career as a staff attorney for the N.H Public Defender Office.  Before law school, McCafferty worked for four years at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., as a teacher, coach and admissions officer. She attended Harvard University then earned her law degree from Northeastern School of Law in 1991.

The 2014 SDS graduation ceremony will be held Friday, May 30, at 9 a.m. in the senior courtyard.