Gordon School announces López as new head of school

EAST PROVIDENCE – After more than two decades leading the Gordon School as head of school, Ralph Wales is stepping down on July 1, 2018, and will be replaced by Noni Thomas López.

Wales said in a statement, “I am proud of where the Gordon School is at this point in its evolution, representing an environment of inclusion and an unwavering focus on instilling the kind of education that will have a lasting impact on a child’s future success. I know Dr. Thomas López will continue on this path and strengthen the wonderful community at the Gordon School.”

Thomas López has worked in the independent school industry for more than two decades and is currently the interim principal and assistant head of school for teaching and learning at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School’s lower school in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City.

Currently, she oversees 1,750 students, ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as 325 faculty and staff.

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Of her upcoming appointment, Thomas López said: “For a woman and person of color who has been navigating the teaching and administrative terrain of independent schools for more than 20 years, Gordon is a school that loomed large in my imagination from my early days as an educator for being on the cutting edge of progressive pedagogy. … Gordon is needed in our world, now more than ever, and I am grateful for the opportunity to join in the important work of building a better world for our children.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in education leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.