Rowland Hall is excited to introduce two new assistant principals joining the school in the 2023–2024 school year: Josy Alcindor, Beginning School and Lower School assistant principal, and Stacia McFadden, Upper School assistant principal.
Both bring to Rowland Hall a wealth of knowledge as educators and administrators, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our community.
Learn a bit more about Josy and Stacia below.
Meet Josy Alcindor, Beginning School and Lower School Assistant Principal
Since childhood, Josy Alcindor knew she wanted to work in education. She can even recall one of the first times she stepped into the role of teacher: at 10 years old, Josy borrowed her parents’ English learning workbooks to help an older family friend learn the language, a job she took very seriously. The child of Haitian immigrants, Josy was inspired by her parents’ tenacity and dedication to their own learning, and she wanted to help her friend succeed in a new country. It was an experience that helped to spark a love of teaching that she’s carried through her life. Paired with what Josy calls her “mama bear” approach to supporting and advocating for learners from preschool to the brink of adulthood, it’s clear she’s found her sense of purpose in education spaces.
“I’ve always been in the business of children, for their well-being across the board; emotionally, mentally, academically,” said Josy. “My life’s work is for the betterment of children. It’s my motivator.”
FUN FACT: Josy refers to herself as a closet poet (“I love the spoken word,” she said) and enjoys sharing her passion for poetry with others—especially students. At Wildwood School, she even created a fifth-grade activist poetry unit that allowed students to explore causes they care about. Josy said bringing out the poet in a child can help build their confidence and self-understanding.
And Josy has dedicated her career to this work, earning a bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies from Hunter College and a master of science education from the Bank Street College of Education. She’s spent years in the classroom, teaching students in preschool through fifth grade on both coasts: Josy worked at the Dalton School and the Hewitt School, both in New York City, and Wildwood School in Los Angeles, where she was most recently a fifth-grade teacher and diversity division coordinator. She’s also been a dedicated mentor for teens and young adults as a former board chair of Urban Neighborhood Services, and a board member at the YA-YA (Youth Activists-Youth Allies) Network. In all her roles, Josy has built classroom experience and deep administrative knowledge, and has worked to strengthen communities, including by training other teachers and facilitating conversations around DEIBJ or social-emotional learning. She understands that relationships are at the heart of education, a perspective that played a role in her decision to come to Rowland Hall.
“The sheer joy that I experienced when I walked in here—that solidified it for me,” said Josy of her first visit to the McCarthey Campus. She remembers seeing children happily engaged in learning and hearing faculty speak highly of the school, and knew that Rowland Hall was a place that also valued relationships, and where she could help children, as well as families and teachers, thrive. She was further moved by Rowland Hall’s strategic vision and is excited to be part of its continued rollout.
“I love this philosophy. It aligns with my core values: setting children for success, preparing them for tomorrow, for a changing world,” said Josy. “I look forward to being part of the forward-moving thinking and building off the amazing things that have happened.”
Meet Stacia McFadden, Upper School Assistant Principal
It doesn’t take long when chatting with Stacia McFadden to learn just how much she enjoys collaborating with people, as well as bringing others together.
“I’m such a connector,” she said.
Though Stacia’s professional life is filled with opportunities for connection-making in educational spaces, she didn’t start her career in education. Stacia majored in computer science as an undergraduate, earning a full-ride scholarship to Michigan State University to continue her studies. But a month into the graduate program, she realized that the path she was on didn’t feel quite right—she didn’t want a career that comes with a cubicle, a screen, and, often, isolation. She wanted to work closely with others. Heeding this self-understanding, Stacia changed course, moving to New York City to join IBM as a business analyst programmer. It wasn’t her dream job, but it played a pivotal role in her professional journey.
“While I didn’t find true fulfillment in this role,” Stacia explained, “I discovered joy via outreach through one of IBM's diversity networks, Black Network of New York, and my sorority.” Through these opportunities, Stacia mentored college students studying STEM disciplines, taught community technology workshops, and led a mentoring program for middle schoolers, all of which helped her understand that education is within her—and that she could apply her love of computer science to the field, helping students and teachers use technology to strengthen their work. “I got passionate about the integration of technology to enhance, empower, and inspire thinking and learning,” she said.
FUN FACT: Stacia plays tennis and has been to three United States Tennis Association (USTA) state championships and one USTA sectionals championship. She’s also shared her athletic talent in her career—tennis coach is just one of the many hats Stacia has worn as an educator.
Stacia pivoted again, earning a master’s degree in computing in education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and teaching math, web design, and computer applications at a public charter school in Washington, DC. She then moved to independent schools, and over the years has held both teaching and administrative roles, many of which center around academic technology (she was most recently chief information officer at the Lovett School in Atlanta). Stacia has also accepted chances to build connections among national colleagues: she’s a faculty member for the National Association of Independent Schools’ School Leadership Institute, and facilitated programming at the 2023 Leadership + Design conference at Rowland Hall, an event which led to her accepting the assistant principal job.
No matter her role, Stacia has kept connections at the center of her work, prioritizing community building and empowering others, and has always found the most joy in student support. While interviewing on the Upper School campus, she said she was impressed by Rowland Hall’s bright, passionate students and their enthusiasm for their studies and interests. “You could tell they really care about the community and had ideas of what they wanted to see the next assistant principal do,” she said. She also loved observing how students and teachers were doing powerful work to bring to life Rowland Hall’s vision of what’s possible in education.
“The vision statement spoke to me: developing people the world needs,” said Stacia. “How simple is that, and how powerful is that?”
Stacia is looking forward to being part of this important work, knowing her experiences as an educator (and the mother of a 20-year-old college student) have prepared her to support today’s students as they find their voices, discover their passions, learn to get comfortable with an ambiguous and dynamic world, and make real and lasting change.
“I want kids to not only find their voice, but, if they see something they want to change, learn how to do that,” she said.
Banner photo: Stacia McFadden, third from right, with colleagues at the 2023 Opening Meeting for faculty and staff. Photo courtesy Stacia McFadden.