The Atlanta Girls’ School has named Ayanna Hill-Gill as the new head of school.

Hill-Gill has worked for the past two decades as Purnell School, a boarding school for girls in New Jersey, and has been head of school since 2007. She takes over as head at AGS on July 1, 2014, the school said in its announcement on Nov. 1.

“I am very excited and grateful to be named the next Head of School at AGS,” she said in a press release from AGS. “From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt the joy from the students who are engaged in learning, the passion from the teachers and staff who create an atmosphere that inspires curiosity, and the commitment from the Board of Trustees and the parents to making sure that AGS has everything it needs to encourage a community of learners. In the short time since first opening its doors in August of 2000, AGS has made its mark in Atlanta, and that is due to all of the hard work and energy of the many people who have loved the school to life. I am honored to lead the school through its next stage of excellence.”

Hill-Gill holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from Dickinson College and a master’s degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College with an emphasis on private school leadership. She has been a yearlong Klingenstein Fellow and an EE Ford Fellow to NAIS’ Aspiring Heads Program.

“Yanni has a deep appreciation for girls’ learning that puts her at the forefront of educational thinking on this topic,” AGS Board Chair Hal T. Daniels said in the release. “She is well respected by her colleagues— both faculty and board members—and has been active in a number of independent school groups; she enjoys a national reputation as a leader in her field. In addition, she is a proven fundraiser with success in increasing the Purnell endowment, with increasing parental support for the annual fund, and in raising funds for specific needs.

“Our entire community wholeheartedly endorsed her candidacy, and we look forward to welcoming Yanni— along with her husband, son, and daughter—to the Atlanta Girls’ School family.”

Prior to her tenure at Purnell, Yanni worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden building their community outreach program and developing curriculum for children’s educational programs, AGS said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.