Meet Dr. Wendy Hill

Head of School Dr. Wendy Hill has continued the long tradition of educating girls with the same pioneering spirit as our school’s founder and has spearheaded the development of a bold Strategic Plan that will ensure the school’s future for years to come.

Welcome to The Agnes Irwin School — where we’ve been empowering girls since 1869. Agnes Irwin knows girls, and we’re committed to creating the most advantageous educational environment for girls to thrive. Here, our students experience the joy of discovering their best selves, and our programming and community live into that commitment with vigor and fortitude.
I am grateful and inspired to lead this community of learners. Our students embrace inquiry — and are encouraged to explore, question, discover new areas of interest, and find new passions throughout our rigorous course of study. They’re taught by faculty who face the rapidly-changing educational landscape with a fearlessness and creativity that produces dynamic classroom experiences, and build the skills our graduates will need for success in college and beyond.
We invite you to explore our curriculum, discover our Innovation Team and College Counseling Office, and read about our students and faculty. Or — better yet — experience Agnes Irwin for yourself by visiting our campus. Come see our classrooms in action, meet our students, and talk with our faculty and staff. I guarantee you will be impressed by what you discover: the value of an Agnes Irwin education.

Wendy L. Hill, Ph.D.

About Dr. Hill

Dr. Hill became the 13th Head of School in July 2014 after a highly successful career at Lafayette College. Since joining AIS, Dr. Hill has led the school through a successful PAIS reaccreditation, managed a comprehensive process to develop and launch a five-year Strategic Plan informed by significant input from the AIS community and the latest research in girls’ education, and worked with the Board of Trustees to finalize a campus master plan. The Strategic Plan articulates a vision and framework for the school’s future and will ensure the school’s standing as a premier independent school for girls and a nationally recognized leader in girls’ education.
An engaged leader, Dr. Hill can be found at AIS athletic events, play performances, robotics competitions, greeting students in the hallways and during morning car line, and teaching science in all three divisions. Prior to Agnes Irwin, Dr. Hill was a leader at Lafayette College, where she served as Provost and Dean of the Faculty for seven years and held the William C. ’67 and Pamela H. Rappolt chair in neuroscience. Over the course of 25 years at Lafayette, Dr. Hill taught at all levels of the curriculum and mentored more than 100 students conducting research in her laboratory. Dr. Hill was selected as the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and received numerous awards at Lafayette in recognition of her teaching and scholarly activities, including the naming of the college’s neuroscience lab in her honor.  


B.A., Psychology, Douglass College, Rutgers University
Ph.D., Psychology (Animal Behavior), University of Washington

Dr. Hill in the News

Will Artemis be a Small Step or a Giant Leap for Women? Philly
"Five years from now, when we herald the first woman to walk on the moon, it would also be equally exciting to have made great strides in advancing women in engineering, physics, and computer science."

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The Myth of the STEM Pipeline

Inside Higher Ed
"We need to create a culture and ecosystem in STEM that include underrepresented groups and encourages their and others’ participation -- a culture and ecosystem that don’t care how or when you got there but welcome you when you arrive."

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How to Get Strong, Female Leaders in the Boardroom and Beyond

Philadelphia Inquirer

"It is important for girls to see themselves as leaders, because that leadership identity is more likely to carry into adulthood when it is ingrained in how a female defines herself from the beginning."

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It’s 2017, and Girls Still Don’t Think They Are As Smart As Boys, Research Shows

Washington Post
"An all-girls education can decrease gender stereotypes for girls. Examples abound in my own school... we asked first-grade girls to draw a scientist. All of them, without exception, drew a female scientist."

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