Kimbrell Smith has dedicated her career to helping families and schools provide deep and meaningful learning paths for students, as well as excellent social and emotional support that enables children to lean into their unique gifts and become confident lifelong learners and thriving human beings. She has worked as an educator, counselor, and consultant for more than 18 years. Before joining Atlanta Girls’ School full-time as Head of School, Kimbrell served a two-year term on the AGS Board of Trustees, chairing the Strategic Planning Committee.
She has served both elementary and high school students in three local independent schools as a classroom teacher, chaplain, college counselor, and lower school counselor in charge of outplacement. For nine years, she owned and operated Teegarden Education Group, partnering with families and schools to know, honor, and encourage students along their unique educational journeys. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A CNN education contributor and frequent speaker in the community, Kimbrell is also a mother through birth, adoption, and foster care, and a fierce advocate for the safety and well-being of all children.
Bachelor of Science in Political Science, University of Georgia
Master of Divinity, Candler School of Theology at Emory University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I believe in its mission, its culture, and its community.
Nancy has worked with a range of fundraising programs in independent schools since 2002. She joined AGS from The Lovett School, where she played a key programming role in endowment and major gifts, working closely with school administration, parents, and donors in support of the school’s annual fund, capital campaigns, and major gifts initiatives for more than a decade. Prior to moving to Atlanta and joining Lovett’s development team, Nancy was a development officer for a K-12 independent school for girls in New York City. She has completed two Outward Bound courses.
Bachelor of Arts, Rhodes College
Master of Arts, Columbia University Teachers College
Director of Middle and Upper School, AP Biology teacher
Krista Parker Director of Middle and Upper School, AP Biology teacher
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because of the community and the commitment to a growth mindset in our students and teachers.
Krista has been in education for 25 years teaching in public and private schools in Georgia. Prior to AGS, she served as the Upper School Head of Student Life and Operations and AP Biology teacher at Mount Vernon School.
During her 13 years at Mount Vernon, Krista served as Dean of Students, member of a one-year interim team for Head of Upper School, Head of Grade, Department Chair, and classroom teacher. Prior to Mount Vernon, Krista was a science teacher at Woodward Academy and a science teacher at East Paulding High School. Her experiences and pedagogical knowledge include developing and coaching others in developing Gold Standard PBL units, design thinking, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary education, and current neuroscience-based educational strategies. She once rode a camel across the Saharan desert.
Bachelor of Science, Biology, Georgia State University
Master of Education, Secondary Education, University of West Georgia
Monique Williams Director of Finance and Operations
Monique Williams is AGS’s Director of Finance and Operations, overseeing the school’s finances, facilities, technology, and other operational areas. A native of Savannah, Monique joined Atlanta Girls’ School in 2021 with more than 15 years experience in finance and operations in independent schools and other settings.
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because it is a place that is dedicated to empowering girls.
Erin Dentmon leads admission and communications/marketing initiatives at AGS. She came to Atlanta Girls’ School in 2021 with nearly a decade of school communications experience. In previous roles, she created award-winning videos, alumni magazines, digital pieces, and more. A storyteller at heart, Erin began her career in community news before moving to the independent school world. She is slowly turning her front yard into an edible landscape!
Bachelor of Arts, journalism, Mercer University
AGS students benefit from faculty members who bring a wide range of experiences, from publishing novels to teaching internationally to researching child development. Most of all, our students benefit from the love of teaching that is universal across our faculty.
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I love to share my passion for art alongside other enthusiastic educators.
Andy Adamson is an artist living and working in Atlanta. He has shown both work nationally and internationally in a variety of contemporary galleries and art fairs and is also involved in the art community within Atlanta. Andrew has gotten to experience the art world in a way that is far beyond his wildest dreams. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and love of art with the students of AGS. In high school, he was his school’s mascot!
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of West Florida
Master of Fine Arts, Georgia State University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because of so many reasons: I have taught many current students when they were younger and appreciate the incredible growth they’ve made while here; I appreciate the philosophical overlap between AGS and what I believe education should be; I believe in the mission of AGS and love that it is rooted in gender research; my dear friend Jen is a founding teacher, and I know this school was conceived and built from love. Finally, I’m so excited and honored to have the opportunity to teach the subject matter that I love so dearly.
Cara Reese began her career as a child development researcher, researching and publishing at universities such as the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Miami. Mrs. Reese’s interest in the intersection of children’s cognitive development on learning led her to the classroom, where she cultivated a love for developing project-based humanities curricula across the grade levels. Recently, Mrs. Reese has leaned into her love of history, writing, and art by developing a line of African American historical picture books. With more than 15 years of teaching experience, Mrs. Reese’s interdisciplinary approach to education and curriculum keeps her endlessly curious and inspired. She is also a certified yoga instructor!
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, University of Texas at Austin
Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Suzy Beckham, PhD Chemistry, calculus, and physics teacher
Suzy Beckham joined the math and science departments at AGS in 2016. Her teaching experience began as an Assistant Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she taught chemistry for 11 years. Suzy’s two daughters, Lucy and Molli, and her stepdaughter Audrey are all AGS alumnae. She has snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef!
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Davidson College
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry, Stanford University
Tatum served as the Coordinator of Service Programs at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas, for the last six years, where she worked closely with educators and community partners to enhance student learning and community engagement. She spent her early career as a biologist at the University of Florida and later served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia before settling into a career as an educator in Houston.
Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of Central Arkansas
Master of Science, Biology, University of Central Arkansas
Spanish teacher and World Languages department head
Aury Bravaldo Spanish teacher and World Languages department head
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I attended a girls’ school myself, and the connection that we build at AGS with the students is beyond rewarding.
Aury Bravaldo has spent more than 25 years teaching Spanish, including at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also the founder of Atlanta Language Services. In the classroom, Aury almost exclusively uses the target language and incorporates cultural context throughout the curriculum. If she weren’t teaching, she’d like to be a personal shopper!
Bachelor of Education in History and Geography, Catholic University (Caracas, Venezuela)
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because the students and staff make AGS feel like home.
JT Butler has been with Atlanta Girls’ School for four years assisting with all things performing arts. He is so excited to be a part of such a welcoming and incredible faculty. JT has choreographed and taught master class at several Metro Atlanta Schools and is fortunate to call AGS home. He has traveled to every continent!
Academic Dean, Director of Leadership Labs, and World Studies teacher
Roz Byrne Academic Dean, Director of Leadership Labs, and World Studies teacher
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I knew it was where I needed to be as soon as I spent a day here for my interview.
As the product of two all-female academic institutions, Roz Byrne knows firsthand the value of a girls’ school education. Roz has made educating girls and fostering their leadership potential her life’s work. Her World Studies curriculum emphasizes process, passion, purpose, and student choice. In addition to her work with students, Roz enjoys collaborating with other educators and cultivating future teacher leaders. Roz performed at Carnegie Hall in college!
Bachelor of Arts in History, Saint Mary’s College
Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership, Mount Holyoke College
Director of SMART Girls Summer Camp, humanities and world studies teacher
Brittany Campbell Director of SMART Girls Summer Camp, humanities and world studies teacher
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I want to contribute development of a future generation of leaders and girls who are bold in following their own passions. I also want to be part of a team that focuses on the whole child.
Brittany Campbell has worked on lived on four different continents: She completed her student teaching in Perth, Australia, while earning her bachelor’s degree, then started her teaching career at an independent school in Macau, China. Brittany took a sabbatical from teaching to build a library in Urlabari, Nepal. She moved to Cobb County to support her husband and started a homeschool and tutoring business while working summers at Atlanta Girls School. In 2021, she became the director of the SMART Girls Summer Camp and joined the humanities and world studies department.
Bachelor of Arts, Art History, University of Georgia
Master of Arts in Teaching, Social Studies Education, University of Georgia
ESL and gifted certifications
Jennifer Cockrill English teacher, advisor, and coach
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because it is an honor to collaborate, grow, and learn with such creative, thoughtful, and curious students and educators.
Jenny Cockrill has taught English at Atlanta Girls’ School for 18 years. She values the importance of inclusive collaboration among her learners and enjoys the lively discussions in her classroom daily. After her classes, Jenny is happily coaching or supporting students in their sporting events. The first record she ever bought was Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”
Bachelor of Arts, English, Randolph-Macon Women’s College
Master of Education in Language Arts, University of Georgia
Stacy Floyd Physical education teacher, cross country coach
Stacy Floyd teaches physical education at AGS, including a popular physical conditioning course. She is also our head cross country coach. Stacy was once featured in Sports Illustrated for breaking multiple NCAA Division I softball records.
Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, Manhattan College
Master of Arts in Education Administration, Chapman University
Jennifer Halicki, an English teacher, was one of Atlanta Girls’ School’s founding faculty members. She is also passionate about AGS’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and provides leadership for students as well as fellow faculty and staff in this area. She loves camping and hiking in north Georgia!
Bachelor of Arts in French and English, Indiana University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because our community is like no other in Atlanta.
Melissa has spent the last decade at AGS teaching science and helping students connect both intellectually and emotionally with the natural world. An ecologist by training, her teaching is anchored in the life and environmental sciences. Like many teachers at AGS, she brings a diverse set of skills and interests to her work that range from coding and psychology to dance and gardening.
Bachelor of Science, Ecology, University of Georgia
Master of Arts in Teaching, Science, Georgia State University
Math teacher, basketball coach, and track and field coach
Lanae Hollingsworth Math teacher, basketball coach, and track and field coach
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because girls and women have voices and ideas the world needs.
In between earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Lanae Hollingsworth taught pre-algebra and chemistry and worked as an assistant softball coach at an independent school in New York City. Over the years, Lanae has tutored and been a teaching assistant in a variety of math settings, including work with middle school students at Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics. Lanae continues to research in the areas of education, theology, religion, ethics, and race and ethnicity. She has traveled to five continents!
Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics and Christian Theology, Seattle Pacific University
Master of Divinity, Candler School of Theology at Emory University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because of the genuine commitment to empowering female students and teaching to the whole child.
Ayisha Karim, an Atlanta native, has been a math teacher, diversity practitioner, and student advisor in Atlanta’s top independent schools for 18 years. She is the mother of two school-aged children and enjoys traveling, writing, spending time with friends and family, and painting. She traveled to Senegal in June 2021 for her first trip to the African continent!
Bachelor of Arts, Math/Arabic, Duke University
Master of Educational Leadership, Columbia University Teachers College
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I am drawn to the mission of supporting girls along their educational journeys.
Mayre Kile, a Spanish teacher at AGS, has experience in developing Spanish curricula for non-native speakers and is the owner of a Spanish tutoring company that has worked with many students in the metro Atlanta area. She has a passion for teaching languages!
Bachelor of Arts in learning disabilities, Universitario Monseñor de Talavera (Caracas, Venezuela)
Master of Arts, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because girls run the world.
Carleigh Knight, AGS’s Learning Specialist, worked as a newspaper reporter and editor before starting her career in education, eventually joining Teach for America in 2010. She now has more than a decade of experience teaching English, writing curriculum, coaching teachers, and building literacy programs for middle and high school, specifically in educational environments designed for ESL students and those with learning differences. She is also great on stilts!
Bachelor of Arts, Literature, UNC-Asheville
Master of Science, Journalism, Quinnipiac University
Master of Education, Global Perspectives: Learning, Teaching, and Educational Environments, Boston College
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I believe in the mission, values, and work that AGS does. I wish I could go back in time and attend AGS!
Rebecca Layson is a ceramic artist living and working in Atlanta. She has worked at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in the Ceramics Department as a Resident Artist since July of 2017. Rebecca has shown work throughout the state of Georgia as well as across the nation. She loves hot and spicy food and says: “I’m not happy with the level of spice until I’m crying.”
Bachelor of Fine Arts, studio art, Georgia State University
I choose Atlanta Girls’s School because it excites me to be a part of a team and in a position that nurtures students, creates awareness and knowledge, and helps develop future leaders of our nation and world in all areas of study.
Grace Lopez came to Atlanta Girls’ School from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, where she served as the Associate Director of College Counseling. Prior to her time at RGNS, she was a Senior Admission Counselor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an Assistant Director of Admission for the University of Miami. During her time at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she worked on the transfer admission team and collaboratively reviewed all transfer applications, Pathway Program applications, and dual-degree program applications for undergraduate admission. At the University of Miami, Grace was the coordinator for all six dual-degree programs as well as the arts and sciences honor programs. She was part of a two-person team that created the school’s health professions mentoring program. She has visited 57 countries!
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Bachelor of Arts, International Studies
Kyra is a humanities teacher with previous experience in political journalism. Her work in international reporting is what fostered her love of world studies and fuels her passion for humanities. After working in Boston, NYC, DC, London, and Florida, Kyra is excited to find her new home in Atlanta and in the AGS community!
Bachelor of Arts, Print Journalism and Political Science, American University
Aileen Moore French teacher, math teacher, and advisor
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I wanted a home in my work community.
Aileen Moore has experience utilizing comprehensible input strategies to increase retention in language acquisition. She has a passion for high energy in the classroom and was drawn to the community that AGS provides for its students, parents, and teachers. Aileen loves to go hiking, travel the world and explore more of Atlanta during her free time. She has visited 21 countries!
Bachelor of Arts, Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies, Georgia Tech
Master of Arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, University of Georgia
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because we have the opportunity to empower dynamic and brilliant students.
Gaela Peters has spent her 20+ year career in multiple facets of education and youth development and considers working with young people to be the most sacred privilege and responsibility. Formerly a high school social studies teacher and instructional coach in Georgia and California, she recognized the deep value of her role as advocate and mentor and returned to school in 2013 to earn a credential in counselor education.
As AGS’s school counselor, Gaela builds and maintains relationships with students (and families) in support of their continued social-emotional development and awareness. Having worked in co-educational environments before joining AGS, she is awestruck by the power and magic of the single-sex classroom and is inspired by the unapologetic curiosity and engagement of AGS students and staff!
Gaela is also an avid LEGO enthusiast.
Bachelor of Science, Social Science Education, University of Georgia Master of Education, University of Virginia Counselor Education Graduate, San Jose State University
Humanities Curriculum Coordinator; English, humanities, and creative writing teacher
Amber Brock Player Humanities Curriculum Coordinator; English, humanities, and creative writing teacher
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because the students and my co-workers make this place teacher heaven.
A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Amber is also a published author of historical fiction (writing as Amber Brock). Her novels are A Fine Imitation(Crown, 2016) and Lady Be Good(Crown, 2018). She is a passionate student of history, an avid traveler, and “mom” to rescue dogs. She lives with her husband, a fellow English teacher, in Smyrna. She is also training for a marathon!
Bachelor of Arts, Furman University
Master of Arts, University of Georgia
Middle School physical education teacher, varsity basketball coach, and advisor
Trent Powell Middle School physical education teacher, varsity basketball coach, and advisor
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I recognize I am uniquely positioned as a coach to build upon the teachings and philosophy of AGS, instill values of collaboration and cohesion, and ultimately, to help prepare a group of young people for their next stage in life.
Trent Powell joined AGS from Houston, Texas, where he taught physical education at Young Elementary School and served as part of the basketball coaching staff at 6A South Houston High School. Prior to his time in Texas, Trent taught for four years at WC Griggs Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, and coached in the UMS-Wright Preparatory School 4A boys basketball program. He loves to play disc golf!
Bachelor of Science, Physical Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Master of Education, Physical Education, University of West Alabama
Latryce Cole, PhD Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher
Dr. Cole is a mathematics teacher with twenty years of teaching experience. She has taught at both the secondary and post-secondary level. In addition to her work in the classroom, she has served in leadership roles outside of the classroom. She has been an advisor, department chair, and diversity coordinator.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Educational Leadership, Auburn University
B.S., Mathematics, Spelman College
Susannah has more than 17 years of experience teaching science to middle and high school students at two other independent schools in the Atlanta area, Westminster and Wesleyan. Prior to teaching, she spent three years engaged in research at Emory’s Winship Cancer Center. Susannah’s passion for science is contagious and she encourages her students to extend their own inquiries beyond the classroom. Outside of school, Susannah enjoys spending time with her husband and their twin sons, walking their beloved dogs, reading, gardening and spending parts of her summers in Maine.
Post-Baccalaureate Study, Molecular Cell Biology, Endocrinology and Principles in Toxicology, Georgia State University
A.B.,Biology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies, Bowdoin College
Nick Silvestri Middle School Dean, Choral Director
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because there is no better place to be.
Nick Silvestri (he/him/his) is an Atlanta native, loves to travel, and one day hopes to raise an adopted dog. He has taught, performed, and directed music at several schools, venues, and theaters. He is the resident Music Director for Out Front Theatre Company, Atlanta’s only LGBTQIA+ theatre company. He has been honored as a Grammy Award nominee, Suzi Bass Award nominee, and winner of Arts ATL’s Best Music Director.
Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, University of West Georgia
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I believe AGS cultivates each student’s capacity for greatness!
A curious and creative learner who leads in innovative course design, Kerry Smith melds her passion for history with progressive pedagogy that allows her to personalize learning for all students. Kerry’s advanced-level Upper School classes challenge students to craft research questions and design projects that authentically reflect their unique skills and stories. Kerry is an avid gardener and DIY enthusiast—you can find her cultivating, creating, recycling, and upcycling every day!
Bachelor of Arts, Women’s History, Oglethorpe University
Master of Arts, Women’s Studies, Ohio State University
PhD candidate, African American History and Women’s History, SUNY Binghamton
Cat Stansbury, “Coach Cat,” has been a teacher, coach, and athletic director at AGS for 16 years, having coached volleyball, basketball, soccer, and swimming. In her 30 years as a swimming coach, her teams have earned regional and state titles, and she has been honored with numerous coaching awards. She is a huge soccer fan and has attended the last three women’s World Cups in Germany, Canada, and France.
Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation, Georgia State University
Dori Thurman Dean of Students for Upper School, French teacher
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I believe in cultivating our mission of inspiring our students to live lives of purpose. I am renewed and inspired because of the relationships that are at the center of that work.
After years spent living, studying, and teaching around the country and world, Dori Thurman has made her home in Atlanta. Growing and learning from her students and colleagues keeps her 20 years of experience in education fresh and exciting. AGS has fostered many of her most rewarding professional and personal moments. Teaching in co-ed, public schools for half of her career helped Dori realize her appreciation for the educational experiences found only in a single-sex independent school setting. She loves learning about new cultures, foods, and languages. Netflix and all of its international offerings has certainly fueled that passion!
Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, Miami University
Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education, Elmhurst College
Jenna is a certified Speech Language Pathologist with over a decade of professional experience identifying and delivering learning support services. She has partnered with public school systems, independent schools, and speech therapy clinics to serve students with a variety of learning, communication, and executive functioning needs.
B.S.Ed., Communication Sciences, The University of Georgia
M.A., Speech Language Pathology, The George Washington University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because we create givers, doers, lovers, and changers.
Barbara Uterhardt, “Mrs. U,” has spent the last decade at AGS teaching performing arts and developing after-school performance opportunities. She has worked on more than 100 productions with Atlanta theaters and is a five-time winner of the Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Award for acting in a play. In her classes, Ms. U loves to watch her students cultivate their performing skills, discover a love for designing, or reveal their talent at building. Barbara also has a passion for animals and worked as a veterinary assistant through high school and college.
Bachelor of Arts, Theater Studies, Emory University
STEAM Curriculum Coordinator, math teacher, and varsity soccer coach
Ric White STEAM Curriculum Coordinator, math teacher, and varsity soccer coach
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because I love the students and their passion for learning and growing.
Ric White has taught math at every level from sixth to twelfth grade, as well as social studies and writing. Fascinated by ed tech, he has presented at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference several times on how to better utilize technology in the classroom. Ric has also established a strong presence in the field of project-based learning and alternative assessments, and in recognition of his work, he was chosen as an NAIS Teacher of the Future in 2014. He was also chosen as a National Geographic Educator of the Week in August 2015. He also runs a board game blog and podcast!
Bachelor of Education, Middle Grades Education, University of Georgia
Master of Education, Independent School Leadership, Vanderbilt University
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because as a mom of three little girls, I am committed to teaching young women to BE BRAVE, BE BOLD and DREAM BIG.
Kimberly Whitehead has more than 13 years of experience teaching math and science and developing curriculum. She is honored to bring her talents to AGS. She has worked as a laboratory researcher at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute and has served as an instructional designer for online learning at The Dailey School. She has taught both math and science at nearly every grade level in both public and private school settings. She is “obsessed” with subscription boxes and handcrafting soap.
Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry, Talladega College
Master of Teaching, Elementary Education, Cambridge College
Our staff bring expertise and passion for helping Atlanta Girls’ School be its best. Alongside our teaching faculty, they create a school environment where each girl can thrive.
Joel Contreras Human Resources and Communications Specialist
Joel Contreras oversees all Human Resources functions at Atlanta Girls’ School, in addition to providing support for strategic communications initiatives. Outside of AGS, he lends his expertise to nonprofits building community among metro Atlanta’s Hispanic population.
I choose Atlanta Girls’ School because as a third-generation graduate of the Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans, I have seen and lived the benefits of a single-sex education. I believe in the mission of this school and want to be part of the next chapter of the school’s history.
Susie Davis joined AGS’s admissions department in 2019 and previously taught French and Spanish at the elementary level. She spent 14 years as a classroom teacher at the Lovett School. After college, Susie lived in France for a year as an au pair! Floral arrangement is her favorite creative outlet.
Bachelor of Arts, French/Political Science, University of the South
Master of Arts, French language, Middlebury College
Monique Rodriguez has dedicated most of her nursing career to pediatrics by having worked for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in their Primary, Urgent Care, and Emergency Room Departments. She is excited to join the AGS team to have an opportunity to work closely with students, faculty, staff, and parents.
A culture of philanthropy and generosity of spirit are at the heart of Atlanta Girls’ School. We are grateful for the tremendous level of support that enables AGS to provide transformative instructional programs to every girl, every day.