Two New Principals Named

BRIDGEPORT—Dr. Steven Cheeseman, Superintendent of Catholic School in the Diocese of Bridgeport has announced the new principals for St. Aloysius School in New Canaan, and St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown.

Dr. Alfone Named Principal of St. Aloysius School

NEW CANAAN—Dr. John R. Alfone has been named Principal of St. Aloysius School in New Canaan, effective July 23, 2018. His appointment was announced by Dr. Steven Cheeseman, Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

“Dr. Alfone’s commitment to children and the Catholic faith is evident by his dedication to Catholic education. With over twenty-five years of service in the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Diocese of Bridgeport, he held roles in teaching, administration, instruction and curriculum development, and district leadership,” said Dr. Cheeseman, Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Alfone holds a Bachelors degree from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, a Masters in Upper Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford.

“Dr. Alfone has worked in his previous schools to strengthen instruction in literacy, math and science,” said Dr. Cheeseman. “I am confident he will continue to strengthen the academic program to ensure St. Aloysius students will become innovative and creative problem solvers.”

In addition, his dedication to the faith will benefit the school.
Fr. Robert Kinnally, pastor of St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan said Dr. Alfone brings a wealth of experience and passion for Catholic Education to St. Aloysius School.

“He understands Catholic schools to be a mission of the Church, and from that framework he will bring Saint Aloysius School to the next great place the Holy Spirit wants our wonderful school to be! I am so happy that Dr. John Alfone is our principal,” he said.

Among his many posts in Catholic and public schools settings, Dr. Alfone formerly served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Dr. Alfone, who currently resides in Branford, will be relocating to the area. In addition to his impressive educational background and professional accomplishments, he enjoys travel and ballroom dancing, finding his greatest joy in his two daughters, and three grandchildren.

St. Aloysius serves students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Visit or call Admissions at 203.966.0786 for more information about this 2010 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

St. Rose of Lima School Welcomes Mr. Gjoka

NEWTOWN—Mr. Bardhyl Gjoka has been appointed the new Principal of St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown.

He comes to St. Rose School from St. Aloysius School in New Canaan where he was the Principal for the past four years.

“Bardhyl Gjoka is a strong and experienced administrator with an impressive STEM background. During his time at St. Aloysius, enrollment increased, teacher turnover diminished and more than half the students performed above 90% on a nationally-recognized, norm-referenced test,” said Dr. Cheeseman.

In the past Mr. Gjoka has been the Assistant Principal of All Saints Catholic School in Norwalk and has also taught Math and Engineering at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, and the High School Engineering Academy in Fairfield.

A Connecticut-certified teacher and school administrator, Mr. Gjoka earned a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from the University of Shkoder in Albania, a master’s degree in education from Fairfield University and a sixth-year diploma in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University.

Monsignor Weiss, Pastor of St. Rose Church, there was an extensive search for the new principal who would understand the mission of Catholic education while also proving to be a creative and innovative educator.

“We were looking for a person of integrity and faith who is a proven leader, an exceptional educator and an innovative thinker. Mr. Gjoka clearly fits all of these criteria and we are delighted to welcome him aboard.”

We are proud of our rich school history and of our many alumni who are doing great things in this world. We also recognize the need for keeping our curriculum fresh and competitive so that we blend tradition and innovation to create the best possible learning environment for our children.

Located at 40 Church Hill Road in Newtown, CT, St. Rose of Lima School is a Pre-K-8th Grade School school designated as a Blue Ribbon school of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Nationally recognized as a recipient of the Gold Level Award in the Math Counts competitive program, the school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) and has a fully integrated technology platform utilized by all grades across the curriculum. In addition to its enriching core academic offerings, students can partake in an advanced math class as well as in Spanish and Mandarin language courses, a competitive sports program, an active cultural arts outreach, and theater opportunities.

Personal tours can be arranged during most summer mornings and throughout the school year. For more information call 203.426.5102, ext. 13 or visit