Dr. Charcia Nichols, the new principal of Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls, is helping to lead staff training at IPA’s Summer Teacher Institute, a conference for new and returning educators.
Nichols, a veteran educator with more than 21 years of experience as a teacher and administrative leader, officially began her first day as the head of IPA Kirkwood on July 1. She was hired by IPA’s Executive Director, Alisha T. Morgan after an interview process that included the input of administrators, governing board members, scholars, and parents.
Nichols comes to the front office with a plan to reinvigorate teaching and learning at the DeKalb County campus as Ivy Prep Academies returns to its roots of providing a high-quality single-gender education for girls.
“Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls can be great, and it will be great, but we have to be dedicated to the work that is ahead,” Dr. Nichols said. “We are going to have to work really hard this year. That means high expectations for all staff and students.”
Ivy Prep’s Governing Board is scheduled to vote on the support of new hires, including Dr. Nichols, at its upcoming meeting at 6:30 p.m. on July 26 at IPA Kirkwood School for Girls, 1807 Memorial Dr. SE, Atlanta.
IPA Executive Director Morgan said Dr. Nichols “has the vision, experience, determination, and professional network” to make IPA Kirkwood one of the top school for girls in Atlanta.
Dr. Nichols will lead Kirkwood as IPA adopts an established curriculum that will guide teaching and learning for the first time in the network’s history. The change will be supported by weekly staff development.
“The Ivy community excitedly welcomes Dr. Nichols with open arms. We believe Dr. Nichols is the right leader to help carry out the mission vision we have set for Ivy Prep Academies,” Morgan said. “She believes in data-driven instruction and continuous improvement. She is relentless in her pursuit of excellence and sets high expectations. She’s gone through a rigorous process that included parents, teachers, and other high performing leaders in education. She’s already demonstrated that she is Ivy Strong.”
Dr. Nichols, the daughter of two educators, has worked as an administrator at several metro Atlanta districts including Atlanta Public Schools, Social Circle City Schools, and in Paulding County Schools. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Georgia; a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Jacksonville State University; a Specialist’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Argosy University; and a Doctorate in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Argosy University.
After a career in traditional public education, Dr. Nichols said that she was attracted to the administrative position at IPA because of the single-gender model focused on equipping girls for academic success in high school, college, and in life. She also was inspired by the flexibility that charter schools have to get creative to meet student needs.
“Knowing that I could really touch the lives of young ladies, and mold them, and show them what they can accomplish was really intriguing for me,” she said. “They really are the pillars of society.”