At its core, a school is only as solid as the people behind it. Malden Catholic is managed by a talented team of professionals, each contributing a diverse set of skills and experiences to guide one of the premier, private high schools in New England. This includes our Academic Administration and our Leadership Team.
John K. Thornburg
John Thornburg serves as the 19th Headmaster of Malden Catholic High School. He brings to Malden Catholic an established background in education and a wealth of experience in leading private, independent schools. An educator for over 30 years, John began his journey as a biology teacher and cross-country coach at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, an all-male boarding school. After 20 years in the classroom, he moved into administration and served St. John’s Northwestern as the Academic Dean and Associate Head of School. He furthered his administrative experience through leading the high school division of one of the highest-ranked co-ed Catholic schools in Ohio, The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, from 2015-2019.
John’s educational philosophy is rooted in the strong belief that Catholic schools are the most powerful educational model that can reach the whole student through excellent academics while providing opportunities to grow in one’s faith. He is convinced that in this model, a student’s full potential is unleashed. His faith has always been a part of his leadership style and aligns with the rich heritage of the Xaverian Brothers, whose charism animates the vibrant college-preparatory program at Malden Catholic.
John has conducted research and implemented professional development programs in the area of relational teaching. He believes a powerful high school experience is dependent on students developing positive learning relationships with each other and their teachers. He has presented on this topic at conferences and published his findings as well. John’s research findings have impressed upon him the importance of the Xaverian call to “form enduring personal relationships within and among the school community.”
John earned his BS from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, an MS from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Science Teaching, and an MA from Marian University-Fond du Lac in Educational Leadership. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Br. Thomas Puccio, CFX, Ed.D., H'18
Principal, Malden Catholic School for Boys
Our Acting Headmaster and Boys Principal, Brother Thomas Puccio, CFX, Ed.D., has been a Xaverian Brother for more than forty years. He was an English teacher and department chair at St. John’s Preparatory School for 14 years, before joining the faculty at Malden Catholic, where he has been Principal for 26 years and Interim Headmaster (2008-2009). Brother Puccio has also moderated our Parents Club all those years as well as taught SAT Prep, psychology, and AP English. A Doctor of Educational Leadership (Johnson & Wales University), he also holds a Masters degree in Secondary Administration from Salem State College; a Masters in British Literature from Boston College, and an undergraduate degree in American & British Literature from Brandeis University. Recipient of the 2007 Theodore James Ryken Award, he serves on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council (MIAC) 1999-2009 & 2011 to today.
Principal, Malden Catholic School for Girls
Ms. Lisa Cenca has been a Catholic school educator for eighteen years. She began teaching Language Arts at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Lynnfield, MA, working with students who were generally striving. However, she began to question why some students were still facing reading difficulties at the secondary level. This desire to help students learn more effectively led her to pursue to a Masters Degree in Secondary Education Literacy. Upon completion, she implemented a literacy program at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence for ELL students as well as students with learning differences. Later, she joined the faculty at Malden Catholic where she created and successfully orchestrated the Brother Kevin Program, allowing students with unique learning styles to navigate the competitive college preparatory curriculum at Malden Catholic. Her most recent appointment as Malden Catholic School for Girls Principal has enabled her to create a curriculum for young women to thrive at MC and beyond.
Robert J. Bucchino '71
Assistant Principal, Academics, Malden Catholic School for Boys
Robert Bucchino, a 1971 graduate of Malden Catholic, holds a School Administration Degree as well as a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies (C.A.G.S) in School Leadership. He is charged with matters relating to the academic needs and services of all students. He also works closely with parents, the Faculty and the Guidance Department on personal and scheduling issues of students. Mr. Bucchino has served at MC for more than thirty years, working first as a math teacher, then as the Math Department Chairperson, and currently as Assistant Principal, Academics. He continues to teach math, coordinates our annual Brother Anthony Basketball Tournament, and conducts our Summer School. He received the Theodore James Ryken Award in 2006 in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the mission of Xaverian Brothers’ Sponsored Schools.
Jeffrey P. Smith '95
Assistant Principal, Student Life
Director of Safety & Security
Jeffrey Smith, a 1995 graduate of Malden Catholic, is responsible for student life, school discipline, and campus safety and security. Assistant Principal for Student Life since 2008, he formerly served as Malden Catholic's Assistant Athletic Director and also taught history and government. Mr. Smith's additional responsibilities at Malden Catholic have included Theology Department Coordinator, Interim Director of Facilities, and Interim Athletic Director. He has coached in the football, lacrosse, wrestling, and track programs. He holds a Masters of Education in School Administration from Emmanuel College and an undergraduate degree in history from Radford University. In 2017, Mr. Smith received the Theodore James Ryken Award.
Robert J. McCarthy P'07
Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships
Bob McCarthy works closely with alumni, corporations and foundations to secure major gifts in support of Malden Catholic High School’s mission, vision and philanthropic goals. Bob brings more than twenty-five of experience to Malden Catholic as a leader in Catholic schools as a classroom teacher, Admissions Director, Development Director, Principal and President. Bob served as the co-chair of the 2002 feasibility study which resulted in the decision to convert North Cambridge Catholic High School into a Cristo Rey model school, combining a rigorous college preparatory educational program and corporate work experience in the Catholic high school setting. Bob served as the first principal of the school under the Cristo Rey model and later as Development Director and President where he oversaw the implementation of a successful and comprehensive advancement program. He has served on numerous committees throughout the Archdiocese of Boston and has been an active participant in the National Catholic Educational Association as a regional delegate, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. as a school accreditation team member and the Association of Admissions and Advancement Professionals. Bob holds an AB from Boston College and M.Ed. in Administration and School Leadership from the Lynch School at Boston College.
Senior Director of Finance and Business Operations
John Groulx is responsible for financial operations, long term financial planning, budget and human resources of Malden Catholic. In John’s 20 years of professional experience in administration and finance, he has 12 years within local government administration and 8 years within private higher education. John’s last 3 years have been with Mount Ida College as the Director of Budget and Fiscal Planning, where he provided budget oversight of the College’s $36M budget and long term budget projections in support of the College’s strategic plan. Prior to Mount Ida, John spent nearly 5 years with Brandeis University providing financial support to the University’s $200M capital construction campaign. Prior to his time in higher education, John was a chief administrative officer (i.e. Town Administrator) for communities in New Hampshire, Maryland and Massachusetts. John holds a BA in Communication from the American University, as well as a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from Brandeis University.
Domenic Cacciapuoti, Jr.
Senior Director of Plant Operations
Domenic Cacciapuoti oversees all facilities operations on the Malden Catholic campus. Born in Melrose, he grew up in Reading. He has lived in Reading, Malden, Woburn, and for the past 12 years in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he resides with his wife and daughter. Domenic graduated with a BA from Brandeis University in 1993. He gained significant experience in the Reading Public Schools Facilities and Food Services Department including driver, custodian, general maintenance, and lead custodian. He served as interim Assistant Facilities Director for Reading Public Schools from 2005 – 2006. From 2006 to 2013, he was the Energy & Facilities Services Manager for the Reading Public Schools, overseeing energy conservation and cleaning in 8 schools and 7 town buildings. In 2013, he was hired as the Director of Facilities for Malden Catholic and now serves as Senior Director of Plant Operations.
Raymond M. Barry P'19
Director of Information Technology
Ray Barry is responsible for managing and promoting the administrative and academic use of information technology at Malden Catholic. Ray brings more than 20 years of professional experience in the IT field. Before coming to Malden Catholic, Ray spent twenty four years at GEI Consultants, a private civil engineering consulting firm, where he progressed from a dual role of engineer/IT Support to the become GEI’s first Chief Information Officer. While at GEI, Ray led a strategic IT Department that he created and grew as GEI grew. He created several cross-functional teams that collaborated with IT to help identify and advance technological solutions to business process issues and challenges. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management. Ray also brings over 20 years of experience in emergency management, preparedness and instruction as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician, a CPR & First Aid Instructor for Winchester Hospital and as a medical volunteer/first responder with the Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps. He is also an elected public official that serves on the Tewksbury Board of Health as its Chair. Ray received both a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Construction Management from Northeastern University.
Matthew O'Neil '99
Director of Admissions
Matt O'Neil '99 oversees Malden Catholic's enrollment efforts. A graduate of Malden Catholic and Merrimack College, Matt has been employed at Malden Catholic for the past 15 years. Matt brings extensive experience to the Office of External Affairs, having previously served as the Director of Alumni Relations and the Associate Director of Admissions. Prior to becoming Director of Admissions, Matt also coached varsity lacrosse for 14 years, serving as Head Lacrosse Coach from 2012-2017.