Putting the “Pal” in “Assistant Principal”
NVOT adds a new assistant principal
October 20, 2020
Students returned to a dramatically different school year being administered by a new team. This summer, the school said goodbye to Dr. Jennifer Mezzina as she went to Northern Valley Demarest and welcomed Ms. Luisella Marolda. With the unprecedented distance between the school community, NVOT has been unable to get to know her. So, besides the fact that her favorite color is red, what else is there to know about Marolda?
Marolda taught mathematics for 11 years and has been an administrator for seven years. Before coming to NVOT, she spent five years at NVD where she left a significant impact on the school. NVD Principal Tim Gouraige credits her with being caring, sincere, hardworking, and most importantly a team player. Marolda knows the importance that school has on children considering she chose to become an assistant principal because of her desire to help others. Marolda said, “While going for my master’s degree and taking various leadership positions as a teacher, I felt like I could impact a larger group of students by transitioning to administration.”
Marolda works as an administrator with Assistant Principal Robert Hyman. Hyman is currently in charge of overseeing the juniors and freshmen, while Marolda is in charge of the sophomores and seniors. She’s also responsible for overseeing HIB investigations, taking care of attendance, overseeing students with 504 plans, and maintaining both education equality and equity for all grade levels. Marolda also helps to assist Principal Bruce Sabatini. Sabatini said, “Dr. Hyman, Mrs. Marolda, and I continue to meet frequently to address issues for consistency and to maximize effectiveness.”
While she believes her administrative roles are critical in running the school, she believes that cultivating a personal connection with her students is just as important. Marolda said, “I want students to know that I am here for them.”
As Marolda marks her new beginning at NVOT, she is looking forward to getting to know as many students and staff as possible, and it would make her year if she can help anyone find some normalcy and possibly a silver lining in it all. She wants to emphasize to the student body that she is “not just a disciplinarian.” Marolda recognizes that “assistant principal” often carries a negative connotation and wants to change this perception. She wants her role at NVOT to be someone students can reach out to and collaborate with.
“I really look forward to getting to know Ms. Marolda,” said Jack Diggins, sophomore vice president. “I’m sure I will enjoy working with her as I represent the class of 2023.”
Even though she is in charge of the sophomore and senior classes, students in all grade levels are both curious and excited to be able to rely on Marolda. Junior Sam Yi said, “I’m excited to see how she connects with students to help them excel.”
While it’s often difficult for students to approach an administrator, they should be extremely comfortable with Marolda. Gouraige said, “…to your face [she] is exactly who she is when nobody is around to see her.” She acknowledges that no student can be perfect, but she knows that as an assistant principal she can help her students accomplish even the most difficult tasks.
While this may come with mistakes, she knows that “through mistakes, true learning occurs.” It’s because of this that she will support students not just when they are struggling, but will support them to continue their achievements. Whether a student is just starting their journey at NVOT as a freshman or almost at the end as a senior, she will be there to guide them every step of the way.