“I feel I have found the perfect school to lead. It matches my philosophy of education, and it makes me happy to serve these wonderful students as their new head of school.”
— Shannon M. Gomez, Ed.D.
When students at Potomac’s Connelly School of the Holy Child returned to school this week, there was a new leader at the helm to oversee the new year. School officials announced that Shannon M. Gomez, Ed.D., is the 10th head of the all-girls Catholic school.
“Students at Holy Child are joy-filled individuals who love their community, their school, and their sisters. I feel I have found the perfect school to lead,” said Gomez. “It matches my philosophy of education, and it makes me happy to serve these wonderful students as their new head of school.”
Gomez has experience in Catholic education at the elementary, secondary and college levels. Her most recent position was at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where she served as principal for the 600-student, all-girls’ school. Gomez has a master’s in education from California State University, Fullerton, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership for social justice from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her area of concentration for her doctoral thesis was leadership relating to the future of Catholic schools.
“I decided to accept the position at Holy Child because it is an all-girls’, college-preparatory Catholic school whose mission emphasizes educating young ladies in a faith-filled and challenging academic environment,” said Gomez. “But also that it pays particular attention to providing a well-rounded approach to learning.”
Teachers expressed enthusiasm and optimism about their new leader: “I can already sense the energy Dr. Gomez is bringing to campus, especially amongst the faculty and staff,” said Kristin Roberts, U.S. social studies teacher. “I feel as if the environment at Holy Child is revitalized, and I for one am really looking forward to working with her to continue strengthening our school and community.”
The school’s search committee chose Gomez unanimously. “We obviously feel that she will be a tremendous asset to our school as well as to our community,” said Patti Farrell, a member of the search committee and trustee, as well as the mother of alumni from ’01 and ’04. “Dr. Gomez has impressive education and business skills, which is critical for the success of private independent schools. Equally important, we felt that her devotion to her Catholic faith was a key factor in our decision. She was by far the best choice for our school.”
“Shannon strikes me as a strong woman of faith and vision who will bring tremendous gifts to our school community,” added Jean Plummer, campus minister and religion teacher.
That vision, Gomez said, is “to continue leading the school to becoming its best self, while preserving the mission and vision of Cornelia Connelly, an educator way ahead of her time,” said Gomez. “I hope to even further enhance our offerings to prepare our girls for a world that is constantly changing, from increasing our global perspective to dealing with constantly emerging technologies. I feel so fortunate to be able to lead this wonderful school, and help pave its path for years to come.”