First female department chairs of religious studies, social sciences named


Joseph Zuloaga '23

Danielle Jow and Nicole Morello are new department chairs for next year.

Joeliyn Rizzo ‘25, Staff Reporter

For the 2023 to 2024 school year, Archbishop Riordan’s Department chairs will be occupied by a majority of women teachers with two taking the lead for their department for the first time in school history.

The first women to be the Department Chairs of Religious Studies and Social Science are Danielle Jow and Nicole Morello, respectively.

Morello teaches Global Ethnic Studies and APUSH and is also the Head JV Girls Soccer Coach, and Head JV Track and Field Coach. Jow is the Co- Director of Liturgies, and Spirit Club Moderator.

Most of the department chairs for the upcoming school year are women, for the first time in school history. (Joseph Zuloaga ’23 )

The Department Chairs are on a three-year rotation. Once a teacher has served the term, any teacher is able to apply for the position. The application process consists of answering around eight to nine questions.

The questionnaire asks about plans and visions for the

department, specific skills, and contributions the candidate can offer to set them apart from other teachers that would make themqualified for this leadership role. The applications are then reviewed by the deans of academics and the selected leader is then a member of the Curriculum Council.

Jow started working at Riordan three years ago and has many ideas and changes for the upcoming school year. She would like to implement new curriculum and course offerings to the Religion department. She will be adding “Introduction to Catholicism,” a course for freshmen that will begin in the fall. Over her next three years in the department, she would like to add more electives for the seniors.

As one of the new women in the department, Jow is excited to see more women take on leadership roles at Riordan.

As our school continues to grow and thrive in our new co-ed environment, I feel that the female voice is important.

— Daniell Jow, Religious Studies Department Chair

She expressed, “As our school continues to grow and thrive in our new co-ed environment, I feel that the female voice is important. I also think it is important for our young women at Riordan to see us in leadership roles and know their potential to be future leaders.”

Similarly, Morello teaches in a way that allows students to feel comfortable to address issues or problems going on in class.

Gabriela Ramirez said, “I think Ms. Morello is a great role model and represents a woman in power for her students to look up to.”

The two new additions to the Curriculum Council will represent their departments, their students, and women at Riordan.