We Exist to Inspire

Providence Day School exists to inspire in its students a passion for learning, a commitment to personal integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.

An independent, college preparatory school, grades Transitional Kindergarten through 12

School Leadership

 The following individuals have direct reporting responsibility to the Head of School.

 Jeffrey Appel | Nancy Beatty | Joseph Canty Nadia Johnson |
kristen kralTodd Swartz | Derrick Willard


Jeffrey Appel
Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement
Providence Day School

Mr. Jeffrey Appel serves as Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C. Appel has been with PDS since 2011.

As a member of the school’s senior leadership team, Appel helps to shape and implement the future strategic direction of the school. He is responsible for all resource development activities and oversees all aspects of development and strategic communication, including public relations, annual giving, major gifts, alumni affairs, constituent information and related administrative support of these functions.  In addition, summer programs falls under his direction.

With a master’s degree in education, for administration and supervision in higher education from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s in business administration from Curry College, Appel has more than 32 years of experience in institutional advancement, including roles as chief development officer (the Baldwin School in Bryn Marr, Pa.), associate vice president for development (Washington College in Chestertown, Md.), assistant head of school for alumni and development (Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass.,), annual fund director (Darlington School in Rome, Ga.) and alumni and parent relations director (Curry College in Milton, Mass.).

While serving as the chief advancement officer for three independent schools, Appel has been highly successful in major gift solicitation for capital, endowment, deferred and annual giving programs, and has helped each institution achieve or exceed various program and campus-wide goals raising more than $106 million.  

Appel is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support Education, the National Association of Independent Schools and Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has served on the Board of Directors for Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Land Trust and Northwest Georgia Credit Union, and was a member of Town Hill School’s Development Committee. 

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Nancy Beatty
Director of Athletics
Providence Day School 

Nancy Beatty serves as the Director of Athletics at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, NC. Beatty joined PDS in 2013.

At PDS, Beatty’s responsibilities include the management of all areas of the Charger athletic program including budget, personnel, scheduling, athletic facilities, academics, public relations, Charger Club and the overall well-being of the student-athletes and coaches. Beatty works directly with the Head of School to ensure the school’s mission and vision are echoed throughout the athletic program.

Prior to PDS, Beatty served as an educator, athletic director and girls’ basketball coach for both Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, SC, and St. Vincent- St. Mary High School in Akron, OH. With 25 years of coaching experience, Beatty has led five basketball teams to state titles, earned 16 Coach of the Year honors and assisted 20 of her former players with collegiate signings.

As an educator and administrator at Pinewood Preparatory School, Beatty was the first physical education teacher to be awarded Master Teacher in 2009 for the South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA). She also was instrumental to introducing three new varsity sport programs and served as project manager for the baseball lighting project. In acknowledgment of her accomplishments, she was the recipient of the SCISA Volunteer Athletic Director in 2012.

In addition to her passion for coaching basketball, Beatty has coached volleyball, cross country and softball teams to several district and regional titles. From 1997 to 2002, she served as a collegiate assistant women’s basketball coach at The University of Akron in Akron, OH, and The College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where she was responsible for recruiting, team travel and game management for both programs.

Beatty completed her Master of Education in 2006 from Southern Wesleyan University and earned her bachelor’s degree in science from Kent State University in Kent, OH.

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Joseph M. Canty
Director of Social Responsibility
Providence Day School

Mr. Joseph M. Canty serves as Director of Social Responsibility at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C.

Mr. Canty is dedicated to implementing the guiding values and principles of PDS. As students interact with and join larger communities, Mr. Canty seeks to imbue them with the knowledge and empathy necessary to become a responsible citizen. In addition to open-mindedness, conscientiousness, and respect, students will also have the confidence to become problem- solvers. Mr. Canty wants students to become active participants in society rather than bystanders.

Mr. Canty received his B.A. in Communications Systems from North Carolina A&T State University in 2002, and is currently working towards his M.B.A. at Wake Forest University. He became Assistant to the Director of Operations for the Virginia Football Cavaliers at the University of Virginia, before accepting positions in technical support capacities for Collegiate School (Richmond, VA) and Covenant Day School (Matthews, NC). Mr. Canty found his calling in helping others turn their values into actions while serving as the President and Chairman of the Chris Canty Foundation (New York City, NY) where he focused on developing community outreach initiatives and youth leadership programs. His passions beyond educating youth extend from community development to public speaking, to working with business owners to create sustainable businesses and brand development.

Mr. Canty has worked persistently with businesses and government leaders in Baltimore, New York City, and Charlotte, NC to develop community programs to engage youth and inspire them to be active and responsible citizens. He created Cleanup for Change, a large-scale cleanup initiative in the city of Charlotte, which focuses on beautification and service opportunities for young people. He currently sits on the Board of Visitors of Johnson C. Smith University and the Chris Canty Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of Men Who Care Global and is a member of the US Global Leadership Coalition.

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Nadia Johnson
Executive Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education
Providence Day School

Dr. Nadia Johnson serves as Executive Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson has been with PDS since 2010.

Prior to joining PDS, Johnson taught at the University of Miami, where she received her doctorate in Cultural, Literary and Gender Studies. In particular, her studies focused on race, gender and national identity formation in the Caribbean and Latin America. She continued to explore her interests in cultural politics, identity formation and social justice during her tenure at PDS, both in the classroom as a member of the English and Global Education faculty — her curriculum emphasized the importance of analyzing culture from multiple perspectives — and beyond through a service-learning study tour in Red Hill, South Africa.

She has served on the school’s Multicultural Advisory Board in a leadership capacity, chairing the Multicultural Curriculum Committee for several years. She also has been a faculty advisor to the Upper School Cultural Alliance club, guiding them through the transition to SPEAK (Students Promoting Education, Awareness and Knowledge), and helped create (and is the current advisor to) the student-led fundraising and awareness organization Students for South Africa, which supports a township preschool in Cape Town.

Johnson recently authored “The Culturally Responsive Classroom Without Borders,” which was published in the Summer 2015 edition of Independent School magazine.

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Kristen Kral
Assistant Head of School for Finance and Risk Management
Providence Day School

Kristen Kral serves as the Assistant Head of School for Finance and Risk Management at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, NC. Kral joined PDS in 2015.

In this role, Kral is charged with overseeing all risk management and ensuring the fiscal integrity of the school. She also works closely with the Finance, Investment, and Building & Grounds committees of the Board of Trustees to advance the school’s strategic vision.

Kral brings more than 15 years of diverse financial, accounting and operational experience to her role.  She has developed an expertise in cash-flow forecasting and profitability analyses, process re-engineering including technology enhancements, and bank refinancing. Her experience spans a wide variety of industries including several large not-for-profit businesses including a $40MM Foundation, a $10MM museum and a $6MM family support center.  Previously, Kral was a consulting manager at McGladrey, LLP and a partner with Fort Dearborn Partners.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Charlotte Women’s Executive Group.  Her community involvement includes the American Heart Association Circle of Red and the Women’s Impact Fund.  Kral received her Masters in Business Administration, Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor in Accounting and Finance from Saint Mary’s College.

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Todd Swartz, Esq.
Assistant Head of School for Human Resources and Operations
Providence Day School

Mr. Todd Swartz serves as Assistant Head of School for Human Resources and Operations at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C. Swartz has been with PDS since 2005.

As a member of the school’s senior leadership team, Swartz provides leadership and direction for strategic planning, vision and change management initiatives, project management, and policy and program development. He creates all Providence Day personnel policies and directs all human resources functions.  In addition, Safety and Security, Extended Day, Facilities, and Admissions fall under his direction.

Swartz has his Juris Doctorate degree (cum laude) from Boston University School of Law and a bachelor’s (cum laude) in political science from Union College.  He is also a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).  Swartz has more than 20 years of human resources and labor relations law experience, including roles as Special Counsel for the City of Boston’s Office of Labor Relations, human resources director for the Massachusetts College of Art and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Swartz also serves as an adjunct professor, teaching human resources certification for Central Piedmont Community College’s Corporate and Continuing Education Program.

Swartz is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, the Charlotte Area Society for Human Resources Management and the Central Piedmont Community College Human Resources Management Advisory Committee.

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Derrick Willard
Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
Providence Day School

Mr. Derrick Willard serves as Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C.  As a member of the school’s senior leadership team, Mr. Willard is charged with overseeing the TK through 12th-grade curriculum, encompassing all academic programs, policies and practices.  He also remains active in the classroom, teaching an Upper School science elective.

Between receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from Davidson College and a degree of Master of Education (Leadership) from Winthrop University, Mr. Willard served for four years of active duty as U.S. Army Cavalry officer, earning the rank of captain before accepting an honorable discharge in 1995.

He joined the PDS faculty in 1997 as a Middle and Upper School life science teacher. He went on to serve as the coordinator of Middle School science curriculum, coordinator of faculty professional development, coordinator of the school’s curriculum mapping initiative and SAIS accreditation effort.  He also served the school as chair of the Honor Council and of the Science Department.  Mr. Willard has also served as a consultant for the College Board as well as an exam reader for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science examination. He assumed his current role as Assistant Head for Academic Affairs at the start of the 2013-14 academic year.

In 2010, Mr. Willard was named Outstanding Biology Teacher for North Carolina by the National Association of Biology Teachers.  In 2011, he was named the PDS Upper School Teacher of the Year.

In recent years Mr. Willard has explored ways to redefine education through use of social media and iPad technologies. Since 2009 his AP Environmental Science classes have maintained class blogs to document their studies and consolidate digital resources.  In the summer of 2011, he led PDS’s first iPad pilot class, which pioneered the use of iPads as “digital backpacks” during the school’s summer trip to study the ecology of Costa Rica.  In the summer of 2012, he was instrumental in helping author a website about social media tools for teachers for PBS.  He has been a presenter at the local, regional, and national level on the use technology in educational settings. 

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Providence Day School
5800 Sardis Road Charlotte NC 28270


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