2019 Institute for New Heads
 
Chris Cleveland
Head of School
Wesleyan School

Chris Cleveland started serving as middle school principal at Wesleyan in 2002. He became principal of the high school in 2004 and assumed the role of assistant head for advancement in 2010. In past years, Chris was an assistant coach with the varsity boys basketball team at Wesleyan. Prior to starting at Wesleyan, he was the high school principal at Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, GA. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Auburn University and a master’s in administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
 
Keith Evans
Head of School
The Westminster Schools

Keith Evans has worked in the independent school world for more than 25 years. Evans earned his undergraduate degree in religion from Davidson College and graduate degrees from Harvard University and the University of Tennessee and is a two-time fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served on the boards of directors for both SAIS and the Virginia Council on Private Education. Additionally, he served as chair of the SAIS board in 2010-2011 and has volunteered and consulted on more than a dozen accreditation reviews. Evans also dedicates time to combating homelessness as a board member of several shelters in the Richmond area.
 
Jack Hall
Head of School
The Walker School

Jack Hall began serving as Walker’s head of school in June 2011. Since taking the helm, he has led the school through a dual long-range planning and SACS re-accreditation process, overseen the largest land acquisition in the school's 58 year history, and grown Walker's annual fund to record levels in both revenue and parent participation.

Mr. Hall previously served as the head of Augusta Preparatory Day School from 1999 to 2011. Over his educational career, he has served as director of admission & financial aid, middle and upper school head, and grade chair. He has taught history, social studies, drama, and religion, and coached basketball, baseball, and football. He has worked in a variety of independent schools including The Westminster Schools, The Lovett School and Mary Institute, and St. Louis Country Day School. In addition, Mr. Hall has served as both vice president and president of GISA.
 
Ayanna Hill-Gill
Head of School
Atlanta Girls' School

Ayanna Hill-Gill is affectionately known as Yanni. Prior to joining AGS in 2014, Yanni served for seven years as head of Purnell School, a boarding school for girls in New Jersey. 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. Yanni 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 both a Klingenstein Fellow and an EE Ford Fellow for the NAIS Aspiring Heads Program.
 
Brett Jacobsen
Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Dr. Brett Jacobsen serves as the head of school at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta. Mount Vernon is a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Leading Mount Vernon through a transformational period, Brett launched the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) comprised of The Center for Design Thinking, The Center for Global Competitiveness, and The Center for Citizen Leadership. Brett and his MVIFI team lead //fuse - an annual summit sharing Mount Vernon's process in design thinking. Brett shares and expands his influence through his blogging, tweeting, and presenting at regional and national conferences. He also hosts a podcast called Design Movement, a 21st century learning and leadership conversation with business leaders, educational innovators, and nonprofit trailblazers. He is proud member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2013.
 
Debbie Orr
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy

Debra Orr has worked in education for more than 30 years, including a stint in a public school system and St. Pius X Catholic High School. In 2000, she helped open Blessed Trinity Catholic High School and later launched Pinecrest Academy’s high school. In 2005, she founded Notre Dame Academy. Debbie has a master’s degree as a reading specialist from Georgia State University and completed post graduate work in education leadership at the University of Georgia. She has served on numerous accreditation visit teams and is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. She is on the board of trustees for Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and also serves as a board member of GISA. Debbie was awarded the prestigious Klingenstien Heads Program Fellowship at Columbia University.
 
Marcia Prewitt Spiller
Senior Vice President for Academic & Student Life
Woodward Academy

Marcia Prewitt Spiller is the senior vice president for academic and student life at Woodward Academy in Atlanta. Marcia previously spent two decades as head of the The Children’s School. In 2017, she was recognized for her important work on behalf of language study with an Administrative Support Award from the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG). She has also been very active in the Atlanta community, serving on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs and Hands on Atlanta. She is a 1993 graduate of Leadership Atlanta. Marcia attended Fisk University, where she earned a B.A. in elementary education, and she received an M.A. in educational administration from Georgia State University.
 
Kirk Walker
President
SAIS

Kirk joined the SAIS staff in July 2015. He was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. He is a graduate of McCallie School, was a Morehead Scholar at UNC, and completed his master's and doctorate degrees at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. He has taught at the middle, high school, and college levels. He served as a supervisor of instruction and as head of school of Bright School, Ensworth School, and McCallie School. Most recently he served as interim president of the Webb School of Knoxville. He has served as board chair of TAIS and SAIS.
 
James White
Head of School
Galloway School

Dr. James Calleroz White has over 20 years of leadership and administration experience in multiple educational environments including university, nonprofit, and JK-12 institutions. He has overseen curricular innovations and strategic educational initiatives including the Global Online Academy, Center for Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Design (CEED), Center for Learning Advancement, and expanding a school partnership with a school in Tanzania. He has also played a leadership role in fundraising and has overseen major facilities enhancements. Dr. Calleroz White is a faculty member for the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute, mentors and teaches at the West End School for Boys, and serves on numerous boards. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government and his master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He completed his doctorate in educational leadership, teaching, and administration from Arizona State.