Jacqueline Coccia

Jacqueline Coccia has been named principal of the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, the Board of Trustees announced March 10.

Since August 2014 Coccia has served as Notre Dame’s academic dean, and interim principal since December. She previously served as the director of elementary education and superintendent of elementary schools and special education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In this capacity she worked strategically to develop teachers’ and administrators’ professional development and programming initiatives. She also ensured and coordinated school performance, plus faculty development and communications.

Coccia holds a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from Immaculata University and has an extensive background in departmental supervision and school-community relations, having served as principal at St. Denis School in Havertown and Holy Trinity Catholic School in Bridgeport, the latter in which she was also a faculty member. She is also certified in Pennsylvania Instructional II in Early Childhood Education, Pennsylvania Instructional II in Elementary Education and Pennsylvania K-12 Principal Certification.

“Mrs. Coccia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the principal’s position,” said Academy of Notre Dame President Judith A. Dwyer. “We are extraordinarily grateful to have someone of her integrity and extensive educational background as our principal.”

“I am honored and delighted to serve the Notre Dame community in this leadership role, and look forward to the work ahead as we plan for the future,” Coccia said.

Assuming Coccia’s previous role as the school’s academic dean is Science Department chair Kim Eife. She has been a faculty member at Notre Dame since 2001, serving as the departmental chair for the past four years. During her 13-year tenure at Notre Dame, she has taught every discipline of science in the middle school, ninth grade biology and AP environmental science. Recently Eife has been instrumental in the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative, studying and analyzing curricula and state-of-the-art STEM facilities at peer and higher educational institutions.

She holds a Master of Science in science from Drexel University, is certified in the biology and chemistry disciplines and has completed additional graduate-level courses in her concentration. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor in the STEM division at Delaware County Community College.

Dan Cushing, a faculty member in the school’s science department, will now serve as chair of that department.