Welcome Aboard Principal Kervi and Br. Thomas!

Get to know our new principal and president of the Crusader family in this welcoming interview!


Hey Crusaders! After a long summer, we’re coming back to school facing a lot of changes. From new policies involving the pandemic to meeting a new principal and president of the school, there’s a lot to take in. Luckily, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. CN Blue and Gold has interviewed newcomers Br. Thomas and Principal Kervi so you can get to know them better. 

Br. Thomas Zoppo

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I’m from Boston, Massachusetts. The last school I worked at was called Bishop Fenwick High School. In the summer months, there was an Italian festival and almost every weekend, they would have a celebration to commemorate a different saint. It was fun, I used to go all the time when I was younger.” 


Q: To you, why is it important to involve faith in a high school environment?

A: “Faith tends to help define who we are. It really is quite simple.” 


Q: What’s the best thing about Catholic schools, in your opinion?

A: “They help with the development of the faith-formation in each individual… they tend to have a more distinctive tradition.”


 Q: Did you go to a Catholic school growing up?

A: “I did. I went to an all-boys Catholic High School outside of Boston.” 


Q: Who was the most influential person in your faith life as a teenager?

A: “My grandparents. They were very instrumental in that and were a very faith filled people. They believed that because of their faith, they were as successful as they were. They were able to overcome a lot of adversity because they emigrated from Italy from a very young age and became established in Massachusetts.” 


Q: What was your favorite school subject?

A: “I actually had a lot of favorite subjects. In freshman year, I didn’t really like history, and then junior year, I had a couple different history teachers who were just wonderful and I enjoyed it an awful lot. And I always excelled in math, which is why I went on teaching (Geometry).” 


Q: What do you think is the hardest year of high school?  

A: “I think in general, freshman year, because you’re trying to fit in, you’re trying to bridge the gap from middle school, you’re getting accustomed to a whole new set of surroundings… So freshman year is definitely the hardest. Academically, junior year is always the hardest.” 


Q: Any advice for students in the college application process?

A: “Keep your options open, seek advice from teachers and counselors, and if you can’t visit campus, which in these days with the coronavirus, is very hard to do, make sure you do a virtual tour to make sure you get a good sense of what that campus environment is like. Choose the college where you’re going to be challenged and be able to accomplish all your goals as well as provide future options.”

Principal Kervi

Q: How long have you worked in education?

A: “I started in education in 2003. My first job was teaching kindergarten for two years. Then I taught here at Cardinal Newman for eight, I taught 11th and 12th grade journalism. And then I was at St. Juliana for seven years.” 


Q: I know that you attended Cardinal Newman, so what was your favorite memory as a student here? 

A: “Well, I have two: The plays and my Emmaus retreat.” 


Q: What are some things you are looking forward to at Cardinal Newman?

A: “I am looking forward to high school life… let me explain. I love the football games, the different things we do for homecoming, the band concerts, the band trips! I went on every band trip when I taught here and I loved it. In just the past four days, I realized how much I missed working with kids your age. There’s so much you guys can do, you can do amazing things! It is such an exciting time to be back!” 


Q: Do you have any plans for our artistic programs?

A: “So we have a new art teacher, we have a new chorus teacher, and I am very excited to see what they can do and what they can bring to the school. I would love to see more student art showcased. We’re in such an odd time in the world that I feel like that form of art can be so comforting.”


Q: What were your favorite activities in high school?

A: “Being in the school plays and the yearbook took up most of my time. I would spend a lot of time doing student government and student counsel.” 


Q: What’s your favorite part about being a principal?

A: “It’s a new adventure every day, and my favorite part of every one of those unpredictable days is the time I get to spend with the students.”


Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in highschool? If so, who was it and why?

A: “I had a lot. I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Gibson, and she is a phenomenal educator. But, I also had Mr. Powell as a teacher, his first or second year here, and he was always one of my favorites too.” 


Q: Who is your favorite saint?

A: “Before, I probably would’ve gone with Mary. I’m a mom and she guides me daily. But, I think, having learned so much (about St. Francis of Assisi) from my six year old little boy, I would have to say St. Francis. He loves St. Francis and he has taught me so much about him.”