AIS Names New Upper School Director

AIS Names New Upper School Director

After a nationwide search, Joy Prince has been named as the next Director of the Upper School at The Agnes Irwin School. Joy brings a wide range of experience in all aspects of the program in our Upper School, including previous roles as teacher, college counselor, dean, and diversity, equity & inclusion facilitator. In this role, she will be responsible for overseeing and supporting the Upper School faculty and staff in executing student-centered academic and co-curricular programming for students across the division.

Joy earned a Bachelor of Arts in French from Davidson College and Master of Arts in French from Middlebury College. She spent several years in the classroom before transitioning to administrative roles in college admission, later moving into leadership in independent schools. A dedicated life-long learner and community leader, she has participated in professional development and civic engagement through the National Association of Independent Schools, the Junior Leagues of Atlanta, as a Board Member of Girls on the Run of Atlanta.

In her nearly 30-year career as an educator, Joy has honed her skills as a teacher-leader. She joins us from the Atlanta Girls School, a 6-12 school for girls, where she serves as the Director of College Counseling and Extracurricular Activities, Middle School Dean, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Co-Facilitator. In these roles, she supports the student government and co-curricular programs across the school, along with the transition experience from middle school to upper school in collaboration with the leadership team. Joy also directs the college office as they support families in understanding and navigating the evolving landscape of the college admissions process, and promotes faculty and staff professional development to advance a community culture of inclusion and belonging.

Her prior roles — as an 11th grade Dean of Students at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, the largest Episcopal Day school in the country, and as a Senior Assistant Director of College Counseling at Agnes Scott College — have equipped her with a unique skill set: a deep understanding of a student’s academic, social emotional, co-curricular, and personal journey from middle school, through high school, to college and beyond.

A capable institutional leader, Joy brings experience serving on a senior academic leadership team, collaborating with faculty, staff, administrators, families and trustees, not only in the daily experiences for students, but also as a partner in the work of admission and enrollment, marketing and communications, advancement, and supporting strategic visioning. In this work, she has supervised teams, supported the development of academic standards, overseen student discipline and the Honor Council, managed school-wide standardized testing, the course selection process, and the development of daily schedules, with a focus on effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and communication.

During her virtual visit to AIS, Joy had the opportunity to meet with students, families, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees. Those who met her commented on her delightful energy, demonstrated willingness to take risks, honest authenticity, and genuine concern for the well-being and advancement of girls. She modeled humility and strength in what is a challenging way to meet a new community: through Zoom calls and iPad campus tours. She rose to this challenge with a grace and tenacity that will serve her well as a leader in our school.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join The AIS community,” Joy shared. “I'm drawn to AIS for its long history, rich traditions, and most importantly for the school's commitment ‘to empower girls to learn, to lead and to live a legacy.’ As I spent time listening and learning during my virtual visit, I found a community that cares deeply about its students and each other. I look forward to working with the amazing team of educators and partnering with parents to advance the academic, social and emotional development of AIS Upper School students.”

Joy’s family includes her husband, Corey, and two daughters, Julia and Catherine, who will enter the AIS community as students this fall. Joy will officially join the AIS community later this year.

“I am grateful for their knowledge of our school and the division, their insights, and for all of their efforts in this important search,” said Head of School Sally Keidel. “I would especially like to thank our search committee chair and Assistant Head of School for Academics & Inclusive Excellence, Camille Seals, for her leadership of the Upper School in this interim year and all she has done to set our new director up for success when Joy officially joins our community later this year.”

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