Dr. Priscilla Sands, Honoring Student Voices

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

Today, we’re speaking with Dr. Priscilla Sands, Head of School at Marlborough School, an independent, urban day school for girls in grades 7–12. As a testament to her leadership, 100% of the school’s graduates go to college. She uses a data-driven approach to determine the “right match” for her students in terms of college enrollment. Dr. Sands understands that it is not enough to just get to college. So she makes it her job to position her grads to enroll in environments that ensure they get THROUGH college. Listen in as details her program for exposing Marlborough grads to various choices while empowering them to be the leaders of their own college conversations, rather than their parents.

About Dr. Priscilla Sands

Dr. Sands began her independent school career teaching drama and English at her alma mater, the prestigious Agnes Irwin School in Philadelphia, where she rose quickly through the ranks, overseeing the community service program, serving as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and eventually being named Assistant Head of School.

In 1996, Sands was tapped to lead another highly respected girls’ school in Philadelphia, Springside School, and in 2011, when Springside merged with the all-boys Chestnut Hill Academy, the new Board appointed Sands President of the combined institution, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

Among many other notable accomplishments, during Dr. Sands’s 19-year tenure at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy enrollment grew 63%; a fully transformed and unified campus was unveiled; extensive sustainability initiatives earned the school “Green Ribbon” status from the U.S. Department of Education; and she established the Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a standout program that enhanced the school’s core curriculum and garnered national attention.

About Marlborough School

Marlborough School, founded in 1889, is an independent, urban day school serving a diverse group of young women. The School is committed to delivering a superior college preparatory education in an environment imbued with high ethical values. Marlborough is dedicated to the philosophy that academic excellence, leadership skills, and confidence flourish best in an environment exclusively devoted to the education of young women. The Marlborough community enables each student to develop her fullest potential so that she may become an actively engaged global citizen.

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