Dear Gordon Community,
I am excited to announce the appointment of Alethea Dunham-Carson as Gordon's new Assistant Head of School. A lifelong learner and a master educator, Alethea is a firm believer in the power of schools to positively transform the lives of the children, families, and communities that they serve.
The position of Assistant Head is a crucial one at Gordon, providing a direct link between the school's mission and the classroom experience, partnering closely with many constituencies to develop and promote curriculum, programs, and instructional practices that reflect Gordon’s ongoing commitment to academic excellence, equity and inclusion, and child-centered learning. The roadmap for this work is the school's strategic vision, A More Just and Sustainable World, a document that Alethea was able to speak into with imagination and authority throughout the interview process.
Alethea's appointment as Assistant Head of School is the result of a highly competitive process that began with a national search and concluded with a series of multi-day visits with students, faculty, staff, parents and trustees. In these conversations, Alethea was able to connect with, and respond to, each group's vision for Gordon, and those who met her were left with new insights, fresh ideas, and a strong sense that they had met a leader who embodied Helen West Cooke's ideal of "the true spirit of joyous work.”
During her visit, Alethea gained a quick reputation for being a great question-asker! One seventh grade interviewer noted, “I think that the questions she asked us showed her good insight as to what makes Gordon special. And by asking those questions, she was able to gain a deeper understanding about what stands out about Gordon.”
Currently the Director of Multicultural Affairs at the Meadowbrook School of Weston, Alethea is a member of their senior leadership team and sits on the Strategic Council, which is responsible for schoolwide coordination of curriculum, program, operations and strategic planning. An important part of her work involves designing and facilitating a social justice curriculum that promotes racial literacy and various cultural competencies for elementary and middle school students, and supporting faculty in the creation, implementation and evaluation of culturally relevant lesson planning and instruction.
In her seven years at Meadowbrook, Alethea has held a variety of roles, including Director of Community Partnerships and Interim Head of Lower School. Highlights of her tenure include coordinating curriculum across early childhood to eighth grade classrooms, developing anti-bias hiring protocols, increasing the numbers of teachers and prospective families from underrepresented groups, and creating dynamic partnerships with local not-for-profit organizations. In myriad areas of school life and operations at Meadowbrook, Alethea has had a direct hand in transforming systems, policies, and programs so they work, in her words, to more effectively cultivate “community, creativity, and human dignity.”
Alethea holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and she earned a Master’s degree in Educational Policy, Advocacy and Leadership from New York University. Alethea is a trained S.E.E.D (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Facilitator, and in 2017 she was selected to participate in the prestigious Fellowship for Aspiring Heads sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools.
Upon news of her appointment, Alethea shared, “I have long admired Gordon School. Along with its national reputation as a leader in multicultural education, I have been especially drawn to Gordon's uncompromising commitment to truth-telling. It is clear to me that a Gordon School education centers children and nurtures their curiosity, their innate sense of justice, and their joy. Most of all, the school's authenticity and clarity of vision deeply resonate with me, and I am honored to be joining the Gordon community at such an important moment in our collective history. I look forward to working together as we continue to foster the educational experiences that our students both need and deserve.”
Before her official start date of July 1st, we look forward to welcoming Alethea back to our campus over the next few months, both virtually and in-person, as she, her husband Cinque, and their six-month old son Langston prepare to join the Gordon family.
I am grateful for the participation and engagement of our faculty, staff, students, parents, and trustees whose feedback and input was invaluable throughout this process. I especially want to thank the members of the Assistant Head of School search committee:
- Amber Bennett, third grade teacher
- Clare Blackmer, Assistant to the Head of School
- Greg Carson, Search Committee Co-chair and fifth grade teacher
- Marlon Henry, Technology Director
- Eugene Johnson, Trustee, Chair of the Diversity Committee, Lower School and Middle School parent
- Veronica Jutras, Admissions Director
- Milly Massey, Director of Visual and Performing Arts
- Julie Parsons, Kindergarten teacher
- Jen Sherer, trustee, Chair of the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees, and Middle School parent
This was the first senior leadership search at Gordon that was conducted, for the most part, virtually. I am deeply appreciative of the thoughtfulness, compassion, generosity, creativity and good humor the committee, and this entire community, brought to this new reality, all done in joyful service to Gordon School.
With excitement for the journey ahead,
Noni Thomas López, Ed.D
Head of School