World Academy Names Dr. Lisa Dias as Head of School

World Academy in Nashua is re-aligning three key members of its leadership team to drive the school’s continued mission and execute its strategic vision: to nurture and educate children while serving their families in the Granite State.

World Academy Founder and guiding voice, Kathy Nelson, is transitioning from her Head of School status to the newly-created role of School President. A lifelong educator and founder of World Academy, Kathy brings 37 years of experience at World Academy and a deep desire to reframe education to ensure student success. In her new role, Kathy will dedicate her attention and considerable energies toward leading the staff to further expand their philosophy of World Academy’s “whole child” education and to advance the philosophy and mission of the independent school.

Taking over in the Head of School position will be Dr. Lisa Dias, whose tenure as Principal of World Academy since 2007 has been among the most exciting during her 17 years with the school. Lisa first joined World Academy in 2001 as a Physical Education and Health Teacher, and since then she’s earned a Doctorate in Education and Leadership from Rivier University. She combines a dedication to rich student experiences with an appreciation for physical and mental health to guide students and staff in fulfilling the “whole child” mission.

Completing the changes at World Academy is the elevation of Marie Kirk to School Principal. Marie is a longtime World Academy educator and former Assistant Principal, who has been with the school for 25 years. With a BA in Human Development/Early Childhood Education/General Special Education from Rivier College and working on her Master’s in Supervision and Leadership, she will be bringing her lifelong dedication to learning and 21st-century education to life as the Elementary and Middle School leader. Marie finds great joy in bringing new and innovative techniques to the classroom. As Principal of World Academy, she will be crucial to vibrant relationships and communication among educators, students, families, and administrators at the school.

“I’m extremely pleased to have greater time to take on a more visionary role here at World Academy for the benefit of those who call our school home,” said Nelson of the new roles for all three educators. “Lisa and Marie have demonstrated exceptional passion and dedication to our students during their tenure here at World Academy, and I look forward to seeing them continue to excel and provide excellent opportunities for our students in the months and years ahead. New energy, great talent and much curiosity to continue to bring cutting edge experiences to our students is just the beginning of what these Administrators offer to our wonderful families. I am so grateful to be a part of this entire, fabulous World Academy family of high-quality status teachers for all of our ages and stages!”

This new organization at the upper level of staff puts World Academy in a great position to maintain continuity of mission and continue to offer the best educational opportunities and experiences for all students, parents, and families who come through the doors.


World Academy is an accredited, licensed, independent, developmentally appropriate and academically rigorous program for children from Ages Infant through Grade 8. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, it offers high quality Early Childhood Programs, Elementary and Middle School, a Wrap-around school component and Summer Quest Camp. World Academy is dedicated to providing all students with a high-quality, 21st-century, “whole child” focused education that supports families and engages all facets of a child’s being, including cognitive/intellectual, physical, social-emotional, cultural and creative aspects.

Located at 138 Spit Brook Road in Nashua, the state-of- the-art 55,000 square-foot campus features specialized wings for Nursery, Preschool, Elementary and Middle School students; three age-appropriate playgrounds; a natural playground; 2 in-ground swimming pools; gymnasium/theater; rock climbing wall; nature trails; soccer field; World Languages programs, robotics built into the curriculum for all ages and stages, and much more.

For more information, contact Samantha Wingate, Director of Admissions at 603-888- 1982 or visit