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Deerfield hires new leadership

ALBANY, Ga. -- After conducting a national search that included more than 25 candidates, Deerfield-Windsor School hired Will Kesler as its new middle/upper school director beginning July 1.

Kesler currently is the English department chair for grades 6-12, faculty adviser to the Honor Council and the academic director of summer programs at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tenn. He has served as the lead teacher in English and has experience teaching AP and honors English classes, according to a Deerfield news release. Girls Preparatory School has an enrollment of more than 700 students.

Kesler replaces Brian Kelly, who resigned March 19 as Deerfield's middle school/upper school director after being in the position less than a year.

"When I came to Deerfield-Windsor for my visit, I was struck by the warmth of the school -- from both teachers and students -- and the sense of community that was clearly present," Kesler stated in an e-mail. "I have been fortunate enough in my education and career to be associated with some excellent independent schools, and I am delighted to move into a new role at yet another such institution.

"Deerfield-Windsor's stability and tradition of excellence are unrivaled in the area, and I look forward to working with a great team of administrators, teachers, coaches, staff, parents and students," he continued. "I hope to play a part in continuing and even furthering Deerfield-Windsor's legacy of success in and out of the classroom."

Kesler has coached varsity soccer for five years, earning two region coach of the year awards and was selected the "Best of Preps" Coach of the Year. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in English, earned a master's in English from the University of Tennessee and has also attended the School Leadership Institute of the National Association of Independent Schools.

He and his wife, Julie, are the parents of three children, Bennett, 10, Ellen, 8, and Walker, 5. The family plans to move to Albany this summer.

Deerfield-Windsor Headmaster Dave Davies also announced that Ty Kinslow will become the school's first middle school dean of students. Davies said the need for the new position became apparent after Deerfield officials and a visiting committee from the Southern Association of Independent Schools/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recognized a need to give more attention to the middle school during last year's accreditation process.

"Mr. Kinslow has been effective as a teacher of middle school mathematics and coach of several athletic teams," Davies wrote in an e-mail sent to Deerfield's parents. "He and Rod Murray, who will continue his role as upper school dean of students, will make an effective team in setting a tone, developing a healthy student culture, and overseeing discipline and accountability on the middle/upper school campus. Both men will continue their teaching and coaching roles."

Kinslow and Murray will report to Kesler.

The Herald was unable to reach Kinslow for a comment through a telephone call Tuesday afternoon.