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Columbus School Principal Emily Lopez to Step Down

Lopez reflects on 7 years at Columbus Magnet School

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Norwalk, CT | Added on May 26, 2015 At 11:00 PM

By the end of this school year Columbus Magnet School in Norwalk will say goodbye to a long-time beloved principal. 

"When I think of Columbus, I will always think of our weekly all school meetings," said Lopez. "And when our students are able to share what they know and where we really just come together as a school community and the people. I think of the smiles of the students and the staff and the parents and just being here together." 

Emily Lopez who has been the school's principal for seven years will be leaving in June and will join the Lily Sarah Grace Fund as its executive director of programs. 

"There's not a doubt in my mind that the time and experience and learning and growth that I've had at Columbus Magnet School is what has prepared me to be ready to take that step," said Lopez.  

Columbus magnet school is a Higher Order Thinking School as designated by the Connecticut Commission of the Arts and also focuses on a Bank Street Curriculum approach on learning. Lopez was formerly an elementary school teacher in New York City, a staff developer, a literary specialist, and an assistant principal at a school in Harlem, New York for five years. Throughout her tenure at Columbus Magnet School, Lopez has brought in many positive changes, like common planning time for teachers to work together throughout the week and the school's healthy habits initiative, which helped establish Walk to School Day and Columbus' new student kitchen.  

"During the time that I've been here, we've taken in data cycles," said Lopez. "We've taken on multiple assessments, we've have adopted the Common Core state standards, and we have embarked upon beginning to use this Journey's program that the city of Norwalk has purchased in order to support us in teaching reading and writing and speaking and listening. And throughout all of that I've been able to have us take in or take on all of these initiatives while still maintaining our Bank Street H.O.T. school core.

She also says the during her tenure the school has taken a strong stance on school safety and security.  

"We've increase our surveillance outside," said Lopez. "We have vastly changed our arrival and dismissal procedures, our sign in procedures, and everything that was involved in really creating safe schools after Newton." 

Throughout the last seven years Lopez says the school's PTA has fundraised enough money to increase its operating budget from $15,000 to $20,000 per year to about $50,000 to $60,000.

"I'm so fortunate to have been able to lead this amazing school community for the seven years and I'm very thankful," said Lopez. 


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