Sophia Academy Announces Next Head of School

Providence, Rhode Island – Sophia Academy today announced Maura L. Farrell will be its next Head of School as of July 1, 2018. Farrell is currently the associate head of school at Winchester Thurston in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She will succeed Gigi DiBello who will be leaving the school after 11 years of dedicated service.

“We are delighted to welcome Maura to Sophia Academy,” said Alison Eichler, Board President. “We are confident that she will fully embrace the mission and culture of Sophia – valuing our unique strengths – and build upon them. We also look forward to introducing her to our community partners over the coming year.”

“I am honored to accept this position at Sophia Academy, and I’m deeply impressed and inspired by the school,” said Farrell, Sophia’s next Head of School. “Sophia’s guiding principles, mission, and values resonate with my own convictions about education, about girls and women, and about equity. I feel particularly fortunate to be stepping into this role after Gigi DiBello’s many years of leadership, during which the school took so many significant leaps forward while maintaining its social justice ethos.”

Founded in 2001, Sophia Academy, located in the Elmwood neighborhood in Providence, currently enrolls 61 students and has a full time faculty of four.

“This is an exciting time for Sophia. Maura will be joining an outstanding team of faculty and staff, who come to school every day ready to support student learning in a safe, joyful and generative environment,” said DiBello, Sophia’s current Head of School. “I look forward to making my last year our strongest one yet, and to working with Maura on a seamless transition.”

“I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to Gigi for taking my vision of creating a safe place for middle school girls to find their voice, and making it a reality,” said Sister Mary Reilly, founder of Sophia Academy. “And I am more optimistic than ever about our future knowing Maura believes in our mission to change the lives of girls from low-income homes through an empowering education.”

In addition to her current position, Farrell has served as Assistant Head for Planning, Director of Institutional Advancement, Director of the Capital Campaign and Director of Communications at Winchester Thurston. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.