Each spring, we write to share with you the news of the faculty and staff who will retire from The Agnes Irwin School at the end of the school year, and celebrate their legacy together. These treasured members of our teaching and learning community have collectively devoted more than 100 years of service to AIS — contributing countless hours in immeasurable ways to give their best to the students in our care.
Upper School History Teacher, Chair of the History Department, Senior Class Advisor and Dean
36 years of service
Thirty-six years ago, Mr. Frank arrived at Agnes Irwin as a History teacher by way of corporate litigation. He has touched all aspects of student life. In addition to teaching History, he has coached Varsity Basketball, chaired the History Department and the Academic Policy Committee, and has served as a trustee. His connection with the Senior class was formalized when he became the Senior Class Advisor/Senior Class Dean in 1989, and in the 32 years since, he has formed a close and indelible bond with each class. He was a founding member of the school's Cum Laude Society in 1991 and has since served as its President. He hosts the Upper School Friday Forums, which are similar to a student project he implemented in the mid-1990s. To many alumnae, Wigs is a connection to the school. In addition to having an almost encyclopedic memory of all things Irwin's, Wigs' commitment to finding ways to connect with students and his dedication to making each girl successful in her own way will leave a palpable mark on our community.
Middle School Librarian
26 years of service
Since 1995, Diane Groff has been educating and inspiring Agnes Irwin students to read, absorb and distill information. Diane has a keen ability to keep the library collection fresh and new. Julie Diana states, "We are lucky at AIS to have a dedicated library for just the middle school. In this cozy spot, you will find all the latest, coolest reads for middle-grade students, and Diane is gifted in finding the next favorite book or author for voracious young readers." For many years, Diane has served as a faculty advisor for Book Clubs, and her middle school book club events are legendary. She is committed to making sure that the students who come through AIS middle school are adept at navigating an increasingly complex media landscape, as she finds new ways to teach students to evaluate and think critically about the messages they encounter in the media across all platforms. Julie adds these warm words, "Diane is the first to volunteer to cover a duty or fill in for a colleague. She remembers everyone's birthday and other important milestones. She's a great colleague, a good friend, and a lifelong learner and educator."
Middle and Upper School French Teacher
16 years of service
Sylvie Molta has been imbuing in her Agnes Irwin students a love for French language and culture since her arrival in 2005. She has served as the International Exchange Program Coordinator and Mentoring Coordinator, as well as in her current role as the Coordinator of Global Studies. She has also headed Frenish since its inception and has demonstrated her love of France to students firsthand on the French Language and Cultural Immersion Special Studies Program (SSP). Sylvie is a teacher, mentor, and role model to her students as she creates a French environment on Ithan Avenue. She is imaginative and creative, enjoying an immersive learning style in her classroom where students read, speak and learn while discussing French politics, France's role in historical events, and enjoying French culture. Her students praise her passion for teaching and credit her for enabling them to not only confidently speak French but to fall in love with the language and culture.
Alumnae and Development Office Assistant
27 years of service
For the past 27 years, Donna Meyer has juggled the organization of the Development Office, greeted alumnae and parents, and has been a rotating presence at the school's front desk. Donna has been the voice on the phone answering questions for parents, inquiring about college and career for our young alumnae, and welcoming our oldest alumnae with a genuine warmth and cheer. With her honesty, willingness to help, and trademark humor, Donna leaves people happier than when she found them. She loves the shining faces of AIS students, and for years, has photographed their important Agnes Irwin events and special traditions. It is hard to think of an Alumnae event without Donna and her ubiquitous camera, as she delightedly reconnects with her "cherubs" from photography class or 4 o'clock Study. She takes great pride and joy in her important role supporting the work of the school, and has often said she would rather be at AIS than anywhere in the world. With her thoughtfulness and a deep love of celebrating others — students, colleagues, alumnae or parents — she has been a true ambassador of the school and has had a tremendous influence not only on the success of the Development Office but in forming meaningful relationships within, and for, our community.
We are so grateful for the leadership and service of these four beloved members of our community, and thank them for their commitment and service to The Agnes Irwin School and wish them health and happiness in their well-deserved retirements.