Viral former principal Nadia Lopez banned from school grounds she started


The principal who went viral for his appearances on Humans of New York, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and other media were banned from the grounds of the school she helped build. According to a new report from the New York Post, it makes some staff members uncomfortable.

Nadia Lopez went viral in 2016 after a student nominated her on popular blog Humans of New York for her work as principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Lopez has been celebrated for her goal of raising money to take students to visit elite universities like Harvard so they can imagine themselves on campus. After gaining acclaim for her work, Lopez was able to take many trips to show her Grades 6-8 students about middle schools before resigning in 2021, citing health issues.

However, Lopez continued to lecture, and while filming an appearance in a documentary, she returned to school with a former student to visit a teacher. The Post reports that despite a pleasant visit, the Superintendent of District 23 Miatheresa Pate and his deputy, Josephine Van-Ess, approached Lopez and asked her not to return to the school grounds.

The decision reportedly stems from a previous visit when Lopez wrote a follow-up email criticizing the school and staff after seeing former colleagues and students.

“It is abundantly clear that the current climate and culture does not represent the expectations I have set for our academics or the staff at our beloved school,” she wrote. “Those currently appointed to the post of [Mott Hall Bridges] DOE leadership, have no idea what it means to be part of something that was created to challenge mediocrity and the status quo.

The visit, along with the sharing of images of students on social media, sparked a complaint, and despite her popularity, Lopez was asked not to return to the school where she served as headmistress for 10 years.

Lopez is the author of The Bridge to Brilliance: How a director from a challenging community inspires the world, which retraces his professional career. She has also previously given a TEDTalk and was once invited to visit former President Barack Obama at the White House.

Despite the recent turn of events, Lopez says she remains “invested” in the success of her old school.


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