Ms. Theresa Napoli was formally installed as The Ursuline School’s principal on November 22, 2022 during its annual Thanksgiving Liturgy, providing a profound sense of joy and gratitude for the entire school community. It was a momentous occasion in the history of The Ursuline School as Ms. Napoli has returned to help lead the school where her career began as a Science teacher.
Addressing the crowd, school president, Dr. Colleen Melnyk spoke warmly about her colleague noting that “The Ursuline School is a blessed community - rich in history and full of promise. Ms. Napoli embodies our Mission and helps to fulfill our promise on a daily basis.”
Ms. Napoli began in her new role as principal on July 1, 2022, after serving as the Dean of Academic Affairs at Fairfield College Preparatory School, the principal at Saint Barnabas High School, and the first female assistant principal at Fordham Preparatory School. She was chosen to join the leadership team at The Ursuline School because she is an experienced Catholic school educator and administrator with a true gift of blending challenging academic programs with care of the whole person - all while providing a loving and supportive learning environment. Ms. Napoli has already shown her ability to uphold and strengthen Ursuline’s focus on the intellectual, spiritual, and moral development of young women, keeping in step with the school’s Mission and Core Values.
Dr. Colleen Melnyk, along with Sr. Maureen Welch, Provincial of The Ursulines of the Eastern Province, presided over the installation ceremony. Sr. Maureen described the role of the principal as a ministry that is both a blessing and a profound responsibility. She referenced the writings of Ursuline foundress Saint Angela Merici, praying that Ms. Napoli would find “encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration” in the Counsels of Saint Angela. Dr. Melnyk presented Ms. Napoli with a framed copy of the school Mission and asked that the entire school community strive together to make the Mission come alive each day.
The mass was celebrated by the Rev. Msgr. Dennis P. Keane, Chaplain of The Ursuline School. He spoke about the significance of Thanksgiving. “There is no better time to install our new principal than at this Thanksgiving liturgy” he continued. “We pray in Thanksgiving for all of us to support her and that she in turn can support us and our Mission.”
At the conclusion of the Mass, Ms. Napoli thanked the Ursuline sisters and all those who have served at the school. She stated that she feels deeply honored to have been selected to be the chief academic officer of the school noting, “I am humbled by your faith in me.” After thanking her family and all those who gathered for the liturgy, she addressed the students directly and asked them to stand. Then together in unison, they spoke the words that Ms. Napoli shares at the start of each school day. “Remember that God loves you, your family loves you, and The Ursuline School loves you!”
Dr. Colleen Melnyk, Board Chair Sheila Sohr, Principal Theresa Napoli, Sr. Maureen Welch, OSU
Photos by Chris Pope of Christopher Pope Photography.