Following a nationwide search, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Sally B. Keidel as the 14th Head of The Agnes Irwin School, effective July 1, 2020.
Sally, who is in her sixth year as Head of The Montgomery School, has enjoyed success in a variety of roles throughout her nearly 30-year career in education. Prior to assuming headship of The Montgomery School, she served as Assistant Head of The Agnes Irwin School from 2012-2014, as well as Director of Admission and Financial Aid from 2007-2014.
Below, read the full announcement from Ginny Sharp Williams ’88, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Announcing Our New Head of School
December 12, 2019
Dear Agnes Irwin Community,
I am delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously supported the appointment of Sally B. Keidel as the 14th Head of The Agnes Irwin School, effective July 1, 2020.
Sally currently serves as Head of The Montgomery School, a PreK through Grade 8 school in Chester Springs, PA. During her six years as Head of School, in addition to leading the school through a visionary strategic plan, embracing the leadership opportunities and challenges inherent in heading a school, and implementing a faculty evaluation system, Sally worked closely with the Board of Trustees on Excellence Within Reach, a tuition-lowering initiative which led to significant enrollment growth in the early grades at Montgomery.
Throughout her professional career in education, Sally has enjoyed success in many different capacities – as a French teacher, a director of residential life at a boarding school, an admissions director, and as a senior administrator in assistant head and head of school roles. Many in our community know Sally well from her seven years of distinguished service to Agnes Irwin as Director of Admission and Financial Aid from 2007-2014, as well as her appointment as Assistant Head of School from 2012-2014. Sally holds a master's in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in French from Dickinson College.
During the search process, Sally impressed us with her clear vision for the future of our school and a love for this community that has never wavered. Confident, yet gracious, and a self-described “connector,” Sally looks forward to reuniting with our community and leading us into our next 150 years.
Sally would like to share the following with the AIS community: “I am incredibly honored to return to Agnes Irwin as your next Head of School. In every conversation I had throughout the search process, I was struck both by this community’s profound commitment to what is best for girls, and its tremendous passion for this school — and I am eager to meet students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae as I begin to transition into my new role. My previous service to this outstanding educational institution created within me a deep belief in the school’s mission to empower girls to learn, to lead, and to live a legacy, and I embrace the opportunity to lead The Agnes Irwin School as we look to the next 150 years.”
During her tenure at Agnes Irwin, Sally successfully shared our story to the broader community and formed lasting connections with current families in our school as well as with those walking through our doors for the first time. During the Search Committee’s listening sessions in the spring, many of our constituents described our future leader as someone who possessed those qualities while being visible in the halls, supporting our faculty, leading with strategic vision while building on our school’s strengths, and serving as a role model for our girls. This is just the mix that Sally will bring as she returns to Agnes Irwin as Head of School. Sally is a beloved leader who genuinely appreciates our treasured traditions, holds our mission in high regard, and is ready to lead this outstanding institution as she continues to live her legacy. As we head into the early months of 2020, we look forward to providing opportunities for the AIS community to meet — or reconnect — with Sally.
I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Search Committee Co-Chairs, Pat Coyne and Anne Ford, who led a thorough and thoughtful process over the course of eight months. The Search Committee — comprised of Board members who are current parents, alumnae, and parents of alumnae; as well as faculty and staff members — partnered with our consultant Storbeck/Pimentel to conduct a nationwide search for our next Head of School. The committee solicited input through focus groups and surveys from all AIS constituencies to develop the desired qualifications and experience we sought in our next leader. This comprehensive rubric was the guide against which all applicants were measured throughout the search process, from the initial phone screens through the final candidate visits with administrators, faculty, board, and search committee members. I would like to thank all of these dedicated community members for the time they committed to this search and for keeping what is best for our girls at the forefront. Their unique perspectives were invaluable during this process and I am deeply grateful for their insights.
I would also like to thank Dr. Wendy Hill for her six years in service to this school. Wendy oversaw the entire Strategic Planning process during the first year of her tenure. Since then, she has worked tirelessly for our girls, reimagining the curriculum, forming the iTeam, and leading a long-term Master Planning process. We look forward to celebrating her many accomplishments as well as the culmination of our celebratory 150th Anniversary year this spring.
Please join me in welcoming the entire Keidel family back to AIS. Sally’s husband, Phil, and their children, Maggie and Charlie, are all excited to be back rooting for the Blue and Gold. They look forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, as they get re-acquainted with our community.
Ginny Sharp Williams ’88, P'20
Chair, Board of Trustees
Learn more about Agnes Irwin's Head of School search: