Will Kesler, Head of School
B.A. in Literature, The University of Virginia
M.A. in Literature, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Will Kesler has been involved in independent school education for more than 30 years, first as a student and then as a teacher, coach, and administrator. A product of the Baylor School, Will and his wife, Julie, returned to Chattanooga after attending UVA, and Will began coaching at The McCallie School and teaching and coaching at Girls Preparatory School. During his 13 years at GPS, he served as the head soccer coach, the director of summer academics, the head of the Honor Council, and the English department chair.
In 2010, Will accepted a position as the Middle / Upper School Director at Deerfield-Windsor School in Albany, GA. In addition to administrative duties, he continued to teach English and coach soccer and was a member of Leadership Albany. After serving DWS for four years, he accepted the position as Head of School at Battle Ground Academy.
The 2021-22 academic year marks Will's seventh year at BGA. During his tenure, the school has experienced record growth in enrollment and fundraising. In addition to his role at BGA, Will serves as a member of the ISA Strategy Collaborative, the SAIS DEI Task Force, and SAIS Accreditation Teams. When not directly involved in school activities, you will probably find Will avidly reading, writing, listening to music, enjoying great films, or perfecting a BBQ recipe.
Will and Julie have been married for 25 years and have three kids — Bennett (’19), Ellen (’20), and Walker (’24). Their family is involved in the community through their church, civic, and social organizations, and Julie is an assistant teacher at Mustard Seed preschool. In their free time, the Keslers enjoy time with friends and family, especially time spent cooking and entertaining.
Rhonda Bennett, Ed.D.
Head of Lower School
B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Middle Tennessee State University
M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University
Ed. S. in Instructional Technology from State University of West Georgia
Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Union University
With over 25 years experience in elementary and higher education, Rhonda joined BGA in 2008. Her Wildcat experience began at the heart of the Lower School as a classroom teacher. She moved into academic leadership roles before being named Head of Lower School at BGA in 2014.
Rhonda is the proud parent of two BGA alums.
Head of Middle School
B.A. in History, Fine Arts, University of the South
M.A. in Victorian Studies, Keele University in Staffordshire, England
International Teachers Certificate from the University of Cambridge External Examinations
Patrick joined BGA in 2018 after serving 12 years at Athens Academy in Athens, GA, most recently as Middle School Dean of Students.
Prior to Athens Academy, Snead served in a variety of teaching and leadership roles since 1995, including at Christ School in Arden, NC; Hammond School in Columbia, SC; and The Potomac School in McLean, VA.
Head of Upper School
B.A. in History, Kenyon College
M.A. in Educational Leadership, Montclair State University
With more than 18 years of experience in independent schools, Montgomery joined BGA from Bayside Academy in Daphne, AL, where he was Head of Upper School since 2017. Prior to his 13 years at Bayside, he spent five years as a teacher and coach at Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison, MS.
He and his wife, Meredith, have two sons, Mays and Thatch.