Classes started bright and early on Aug. 9 at Pardes Jewish Day School. The new head of school, Peter Gordon, was on hand to say hello to students and parents.

Gordon, who previously worked as head of school at Hilltop Country Day School in Sparta, New Jersey, is only the third head of school at Pardes. His predecessor, Jill Kessler, headed the school for 14 years before stepping down at the end of the spring semester. The K-8 school has about 300 students. Gordon said he would try to welcome students every day.

Gordon said the school is implementing a new theme — instruct, inspire and innovate.

“That really helps the faculty and the community to focus on what we’re doing here,” Gordon said. JNJanet Perez