Board Chair George Matouk on Gordon's Head of School
What I have learned through my work leading schools is that making a positive impact on a child's life and sending a confident, curious, compassionate being out into the world is not a little thing. It may be the most effective and most important act of citizenship there is.
- Dr. Noni Thomas López, Gordon's next Head of School
Dear Members of the Gordon Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Gordon School, I am proud to announce that Noni Thomas López was unanimously selected on October 2, 2017 to be our next Head of School.
Noni, who is currently the Interim Principal of the Lower School at Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS) in New York City, will bring to Gordon a career of absolutely outstanding educational accomplishments as a teacher, administrator and scholar. She holds a second role at ECFS of Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. Widely regarded as one of the nation's leading experts in multicultural education, Noni is uniquely qualified to lead the children, professionals and families of the Gordon School through the next years of the twenty-first century. Noni describes the power of this pedagogy in the following way:
"The schoolhouse is where students come to an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and a multicultural curriculum is the vessel for carrying out this important work. An authentic multicultural curriculum does not just present a diversity of viewpoints, it asks students to sensitively listen and hold those views alongside their own. It requires students to actively engage in the practices of democratic citizenship by teaching the habits of mind necessary to discern, evaluate, critique, and challenge."
Beyond her profoundly impressive professional qualifications, Noni is an inspiring person. As you will read in her introductory letter to the community, linked below, she is warm, authentic, curious, funny, patient, determined, empathetic, down-to-earth, brainy and optimistic. She is simultaneously community-oriented, family-oriented and globally oriented. Noni is passionate about the potential for nursery to eighth grade schools like Gordon to create ambassadors of hope, intelligence and justice from the earliest ages. These children, our children, will go on to face and solve the most challenging puzzles that our world can present to them. Here is how Noni has described her role as an educational leader:
"The primary purpose of educational leadership is to help young people discover who they are and determine how they will use this understanding to contribute positively to the world. Great schools build on children's unique gifts and provide the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for them to be active participants in their communities: active intellectually, active physically, active politically, active socially, active morally."
I know you will join me in welcoming Noni and her husband Rodney to our beloved institution. Gordon has a sense of community unlike any independent school in the country. Let's leverage that spirit and warmth to bring out the best in Noni as she brings out the best in us.
In closing, I want to thank the search firm Educators' Collaborative, the Search Committee, and its co-chairs Marianne Monte and Amanda Riegel, for their tireless commitment to getting this right - and they did - for Gordon. And I want to thank you, the community, for your essential engagement and participation as well. The future children, families and professionals of Gordon will owe you a debt of gratitude.
On Monday, October 2nd, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the Gordon School selected Noni Thomas Lopez to be Gordon’s next Head of School.
Read her biography
Board Chair George Matouk introduced her to the Gordon community with this letter
She responded to the Gordon community with this letter