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President of Nardin Academy is out abruptly

Seven months after he became the first male president of Nardin Academy, John Thomas West III is leaving.

In a statement released Wednesday, the board of trustees said that West, who was installed as Nardin’s 24th president July 1 after a nationwide search, “will end his relationship with the Buffalo school immediately.”

“Nardin and Mr. West mutually agreed to end our relationship and he will leave his post in Buffalo. We wish him the best,” board President Charles W. Chiampou said in the statement. The school did not elaborate on the reason for his departure.

Marsha Joy Sullivan, who preceded West as president, will return as interim president until a new one can be selected.

An email from the school to the “Nardin community” reported that the search will begin immediately. “The goal is to have that person in place as soon as possible,” the email said. “Given both interest and quality of applicants for the position in our last search, we are confident we will find a new president expeditiously.”

Nardin, the first Catholic school in Buffalo, was founded in 1857 by the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. Sullivan was the school’s first lay president when she took the post in 2008. All previous heads of the school had been members of the Daughters.

Nardin has two campuses, on Cleveland Avenue and West Ferry Street, and is made up of three schools – a coeducational Montessori program, an elementary school and an all-girls college preparatory high school.

West, who lived in Nardin House on the West Ferry Street campus with his wife, was headmaster for 10 years at the Mirman School, a private school for gifted children in Los Angeles, before accepting the post at Nardin. He also was founder and artistic director of the Valyermo Dancers, a Los Angeles company dedicated to sacred and liturgical dance.