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Fieldston principal moving to Rhode Island

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Ethical Culture Fieldston’s lower school is losing its interim principal by the end of the school year.

Noni Thomas Lopez has been named the new head of The Gordon School in East Providence, Rhode Island, the school announced on its website.

Gordon boasts an enrollment of a little more than 350, according to its website, and only accepts about 20 percent of the students that apply.

East Providence is the fifth-largest city in Rhode Island with a population of more than 47,000, and is located east just across the Providence River from the state’s capital, Providence.

Thomas Lopez will take over from Ralph Wales, who has run the school since 1994.

In a letter to the school published on Gordon’s website, The Fieldston principal said she initially turned down the job.

“I love New York, and I have had deep ties to this city form the day of my birth to the moment I met my Bronx-born, Bronx-raised husband in 2010,” Thomas Lopez said. “New England was out, and not just because of the Red Sox.”

Yet, Thomas Lopez said she couldn’t shake Gordon from her mind, especially since it was a school known for “unapologetically walking the talk of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Before joining Fieldston, Thomas Lopez was an administrator at the Nightingale-Bamford School on East 92nd Street and Calhoun School in the Upper West Side, and was a teacher at the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan. She’s also a board trustee for the Bronx Charter School for the Arts.

Higgins replaced at St. John’s School

St. John’s School in Kingsbridge has a new principal at the helm, with Melissa Cardona-Moore taking over Oct. 13.

Cardona-Moore replaces Edward Higgins, who led the school for five years.

No reason was given for Higgins’ departure, but in a letter to St. John’s parents, regional superintendent John Riley thanked him for his “many years of dedicated service to St. John’s and to the ministry of Catholic education.”

Cardona-Moore was most recently the assistant principal at Ascension School in Manhattan, according to Riley’s letter, and was an early childhood educator at Transfiguration School in Manhattan, as well as St. Margaret Mary School on East 177th Street.

St. John’s is part of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, and is one of nearly 30 schools in this part of the Bronx under the Archdiocese.

The school has been pretty busy in the last year, especially when it came to expansion, Higgins told The Riverdale Press in August. That includes a new universal pre-kindergarten room that expands that service to 54 seats, and the construction of a lab to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“And the planning for next year is always important,” Higgins said at the time.

“Where are we? Where do we want to be? And how are we going to get there?”

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Curious Parent

Why does Fieldston have such a high turnover rate when it comes to principals? I don't keep close tabs on the school, but I know that this is at least the third principal to leave in the last four years or so. Are the obnoxious Manhattan students chasing staff away?

Thursday, November 2