Nardin Academy Announces Mr. John West III as 24th President
October 24, 2014 - Buffalo, NY - The Nardin Academy board of trustees has completed its national search for Nardin's 24th president. President Marsha Joy Sullivan, who has served in the role since 2008, has announced her plans to retire as of June 2015.
On October 16, 2014, the Nardin Academy Board of Trustees approved Mr. John West III as the 24th president of Nardin Academy, succeeding Marsha Joy Sullivan. He will begin his tenure on July 1, 2015.
In a letter to the Nardin community, board chair Brigid Doherty '92 and trustee/search committee chair Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker '78 said, "John has enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to become Nardin's next president. He is eager to take the Academy forward at this exciting time. He is an exceptional leader who brings passion for Catholic education, scholarship, and a deep understanding of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary's charism to this leadership role."
West is from California, but is no stranger to cold weather: he earned his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Returning to California, he earned a Masters in Education from Loyola University of Los Angeles Graduate School of Education. He has done graduate work in Folklore and Mythology at UCLA.
West's leadership experience is deep, and runs across both independent and religiously sponsored Catholic schools. Specifically, in his educational work, he has had academic leadership roles at the highly regarded Harvard-Westlake school, and the past ten years as headmaster of the Mirman School.
Outside of schools, he has held a number of important leadership roles including serving on the Boards of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) as Vice President and Chair of the Board of Elementary Standards, and Marymount High School (an all-girls Catholic high school sponsored by the RSHM). He is a frequent speaker in the areas of diversity, equity and justice at independent school conferences.
A sacred arts and liturgy workshop leader and a gifted dancer, West is the artistic director of the Valyermo Dancers, a company dedicated to sacred and liturgical dance.
As the head of the Mirman School, a school designed to meet the needs of academically gifted children ages 5 to 14, he undertook a variety of initiatives, including leading the strategic planning process, and developing a master facilities plan.
His integration of technology throughout the curriculum earned Mirman the "Apple Distinguished School" honor; he promoted the celebration of "Women in STEM" ("Women in STEAM" in 2013) as a school-wide initiative. He grew Mirman's annual fund giving by a multiple of four times, also leading a successful capital campaign.
Of his eagerness to join the Nardin community, West said, "I witnessed the commitment of the Nardin Academy community to the complexities of education and character development for the 21st century. These educational goals are framed within the charism of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary and set the Academy apart from all other schools in my experience. Without doubt, this is an educational institution worthy of both national and global recognition. It is my intent and will be my pleasure to help the school hone its progress along these lines."
During the coming year, as Marsha Joy Sullivan completes her tenure with her characteristic vivacity, a Nardin transition committee will plan events to welcome West, and his wife Consuelo Zuñiga-West.