For the past 20 years, Hill-Gill has worked at Purnell School, a girls’ boarding school in New Jersey. She has been the head of school since 2007. 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.
“Last summer as we drafted our position statement, we carefully set out the professional and personal qualities that we wanted in our new head,” said Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, chair of the school’s head search committee. “Professionally, we sought a person with a deep understanding of single-gender education, an advanced degree and actual experience educating girls, an understanding of both teaching and educational leadership, high standards for herself and the students, a global perspective, comfort with technology, fundraising experience and common sense. Personally, we wanted someone with a passion for educating young women, enthusiasm, charisma and energy, maturity and a ready sense of humor. Yanni hits on every point.”
Prior to her tenure at Purnell, Hill-Gill worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden building their community outreach program and developing curriculum for children’s educational programs. In 1992, she lived in Costa Rica while studying sustainable development and conducting independent research in water quality. It was these two experiences that led Hill-Gill to teaching, particularly science.
“I am very excited and grateful to be named the next head of school at AGS,” she said. “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.”