Introducing Lower School Principal Namita Tolia

We are so pleased to announce that Namita Tolia will join Rutgers Prep as Lower School Principal this summer in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, and we hope you will join us in welcoming her to our community! 

Namita is an experienced educator who grew up in northern New Jersey and who has been a part of Independent Schools on both the East and West Coasts. After graduating from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, Namita went to Stanford for a master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies. In a career change, Namita began apprenticing in San Francisco independent schools in 1994 and earned her teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. After leading her own Lower School classroom for nine years, Namita pursued an Ed.M. in Private School Leadership at Columbia University and originated The San Francisco School’s first Lower School Head position. After moving back east to be closer to home, Namita became Lower School Principal at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School for seven years and most recently has been Head of School at Montclair Cooperative School for five years. 

Namita spent the 2020-21 school year broadening her horizons as a consultant to both public and private schools. Her consulting focused on the educational technology needs caused by the pandemic and the diversity and equity conversations sparked by the nation-wide discussions. Over many years as a Lower School educator, Namita describes her joy as the energy and creativity of the children. She describes her purpose as developing excellence of program, fostering belonging for all community members, and creating opportunities for empowerment for both students and faculty.

When not at school, Namita loves hiking, farmer’s marketing, and cooking. She spends her free time with her daughter Sarina who also luckily loves the outdoors and food.

A frequent presenter at educational conferences, Namita has offered programs for the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, the New York Association of Independent Schools, and the National Association of Independent Schools. She has served as a Fellow in Harvard’s Project Zero and the Multicultural Alliance and participated in Schools Attuned and the National Small Schools Conference. 

Namita is thrilled about joining Rutgers Preparatory School. She has a sincere love of children, respect for learning, and commitment to community and I invite you to please join me in welcoming Namita.