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Sally B. Keidel Named Agnes Irwin School’s New Head of School

By Taylor Smith

Images courtesy of Agnes Irwin School

Following a nationwide search, the board of trustees of The Agnes Irwin School, a private girls school in Rosemont, Pa., recently announced the appointment of Sally B. Keidel as the school’s 14th head, effective July 1, 2020.

Below is a letter from Keidel to the Agnes Irwin community, as posted on

With tremendous enthusiasm and gratitude, I am honored to return to Agnes Irwin to serve as the 14th head of school. As I reflect on what it means to lead this outstanding institution, I am eager to embrace Agnes Irwin’s mission, core values, and strategic vision, and look forward to forming strong relationships with all members of the community and nurturing this school’s exceptional culture. I know that an Agnes Irwin education is centered around what is best for girls, combining challenging academics with a concurrent emphasis on the development of each girl’s character and voice. This all happens within a supportive, connected community.

The commitment to advancing educational opportunities for girls has been a recurring theme in my career in education. I began my career at Chatham Hall, an all-girls boarding school in Virginia. Later, I became the first female director of admissions at The Hill School, just five years after that school first began admitting girls. From the Hill, I came to Agnes Irwin, where I spent seven rewarding years working in the areas of admission, enrollment management, and financial aid, ultimately earning the title of assistant head of school. My path to this moment has been marked by my dedication to the development of girls and young women in independent schools.

 I am honored to build on the accomplishments of Dr. Wendy Hill and her six years of leadership. In preparation for stepping into this new role, I am learning more about the ways Agnes Irwin has grown and evolved since my time here, and am encouraged by what I see. The school has implemented positive changes to the Upper School curriculum, centering learning on the present-day needs of the students. Likewise, having spent a year in France while in college, I am naturally drawn to the impact that the global exchange programs will have for the girls who are willing to seize that remarkable opportunity. I am also heartened by the equity and inclusion initiatives undertaken at Agnes Irwin in the past few years and its prominence in the school’s strategic plan, as this work is vital for building strong communities.

 Throughout my candidacy for this position, the Search Committee helped build my excitement for the critical work ahead. It is apparent to me that the pride in this school is vibrant as ever, and there is much optimism about the school’s bright future. Agnes Irwin provides opportunities for girls to step forward and to excel in this rapidly changing world, and I am committed to continuing and enhancing the school’s unceasing delivery on that promise. I look forward to starting this important work alongside the Agnes Irwin community upon my arrival in July 2020.

Keidel currently serves as head of the Montgomery School, a PreK-Grade 8 school in Chester Springs, Pa. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and possesses a nearly 30-year career in education. Prior to her current role at Montgomery School, Keidel operated as assistant head of The Agnes Irwin School from 2012-2014 and director of admission and financial aid from 2007-2014.

The Search Committee was comprised of board members who are current parents, alumnae, and parents of alumnae, as well as faculty and staff members. Throughout the process, the Search Committee sought feedback and shared updates with the Agnes Irwin community.

The Agnes Irwin School is located at 275 S. Ithan Avenue in Rosemont, Pa., a town on the Philadelphia Main Line between Bryn Mawr and Villanova, Pa. For more information, visit