PEABODY — The second major leadership position at Bishop Fenwick High School has been filled. Cecilia Marquez has been hired as the new principal, starting July 1.
Thomas Nunan, who was hired in March to become the private Catholic high school's first president, announced the hire in a letter to parents and supporters on May 15. He described Marquez as a devout Catholic and an "innovative" and "dynamic" educator.
She was chosen after a nationwide search led by Carney, Sandoe, and Associates, working with a search committee from the school. She emerged as the top choice among three finalists recommended for the position.
"A life-long learner and an energetic team builder, Ms. Marquez is deeply passionate about Catholic education and she cannot wait to begin her journey at Bishop Fenwick," Nunan said.
He added that he is looking forward to working alongside her and Jim Grocki, Fenwick's vice principal, as well as Sharon Burrill, the principal at St. Mary of the Annunciation in Danvers, which is a partner school to Fenwick.
Marquez, who has more than 30 years experience in education, spent the past seven years as the academic dean at the Oakcrest School, a Catholic girls middle and high school in Virginia, where she supervised all teaching faculty as well as other departments. She has also taught and held various roles at Princeton Day School, a preK-12 school in Princeton, New Jersey.
She also has consulted with different academic institutions on educational initiatives and issues,in the U.S. and in Argentina. She holds citizenships in Italy, Argentina and the U.S., and speaks fluent Spanish and English, as well as some French and Latin, according to her resume.
"Each student should feel the trust and the care of supportive and knowledgeable teachers who inspire in them a constant joy of learning, a deepening sense of confidence, a delight in the world, and a desire to serve others," Marquez said in a press release.
She has a doctorate in educational and organizational leadership from Columbia University, a master's in applied linguistics and methodology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor's degree in English as a second language from the Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She has three daughters, the youngest of whom is currently attending Harvard University.
Both Nunan and Marquez were hired in response to the pending departure of Brother Thomas Zoppo, who spent the past six years leading Fenwick and is being reassigned after June 30 by his religious order. Nunan is the school's first president, part of an administrative restructuring that designates him as the public face of the school while the principal handles day-to-day learning.
Bishop Fenwick, located on Margin Street in Peabody, has 589 students in grades 9 through 12. St. Mary's, on Otis Street in Danvers, has 165 students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. Both schools were founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.