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Malden Catholic Moves To A Single-Principal Model

Malden Catholic High School will move to a single-principal model on July 1. Rose Maria Redman, who has served as the head of school for Presentation of Mary Academy for the past 18 years, has been named as the principal of Malden Catholic.

“The shift will allow us to unite the school under one principal and we are delighted to have Mrs. Redman, a veteran in Catholic education, join our team,” said John K. Thornburg, headmaster. “Rose is a seasoned and highly respected educator who has experience in integrating organizations. She will be supported by a seasoned team of education professionals including Boys Division Leader Robert Bucchino, Girls Division Leader Jeff Smith and James Grocki who will be our new assistant principal of student life.”

Malden Catholic introduced a codivisional model in 2018 to offer students the best of both worlds — rigorous single-gender academics during the school day and integrated, social extracurricular opportunities after school. When the school adopted the unique model, the intent was to create two divisions with two principals who ran comparable programs and outcomes under one very strong Malden Catholic brand. There are only three schools of this type in the country and Malden Catholic is the only codivisional school in the Northeast.

In fall 2019, the school initiated a six-month strategic planning process that began with a comprehensive survey of the following constituents: students, parents, faculty/staff and alumni. In the research survey, MC scored highly as a strong, academically rigorous school that was well-run, safe and highly supported by parents, donors and the community. The survey also identified the need for organizational streamlining to ensure the future growth of the institution. “Headmaster John K. Thornburg has a bold vision for the school and knows how to get us there,” said Jim Donovan, MC board chairman. “The school needs to have a single principal model to create greater cohesion and collaboration for all of the students in the Boys and Girls Divisions and respond to the gaps and needs identified in the survey.”

This is an exciting new leadership model that will position Malden Catholic for bigger and better things as we continue to grow the school and become the best single-gender Catholic secondary education anywhere in the nation,” said MC Board member, Mason Tenaglia.

Malden Catholic has had a very successful year, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. The school also has a very strong incoming class of 2024 and seamlessly transitioned to distance learning, completing the third and fourth quarters of the academic year without interruption. This new shift to a single-principal model will ensure that Malden Catholic is “built to last” by providing a unified structure that unifies the organization and magnifies outcomes for its exceptional scholastic, athletic, social and spiritual programs.

We greatly appreciate the contributions of MC’s current principals. Ms. Cenca served as an ideal catalyst for the innovative launch of the Girls Division in 2018 and Brother has provided the legacy and long-standing tradition of strength as the Principal of the Boys Division. Brother Puccio has served as principal at Malden Catholic for over 26 years as well as serving as interim headmaster for two different periods and will remain at MC full-time as the director of mission integration.

About the Malden Catholic Leadership Team

• Malden Catholic Headmaster John K. Thornburg: Following a nationwide search, the highly respected, Thornburg, joined Malden Catholic in June of 2019 as the new headmaster after serving as head of the upper division at Summit Country Day School, the top-rated Catholic high school in Ohio. He also served at St. John’s Leadership Academy for 20 years where he began as a teacher and coach and became the dean of students and vice president of the school. Ultimately, Thornburg was hired by the Malden Catholic board of directors to ensure the strength and sustainability of the school for the next decade and beyond. Based on 30 years in the field of education, Thornburg has experience and specialization in the following areas: enhancing leadership development — for administrators and students, transforming cultures- creating highly functioning institutions and relational teaching — effectively transferring knowledge between teachers and students

• Malden Catholic Principal Rose Maria Redman: Redman has served as head of school at the Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen for the past 18 years and was instrumental in integrating boys into the all-girls high school nine years ago. Redman is a seasoned Catholic educator and worked for the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for 30 years.

• Boys Division Leader Robert Bucchino: Bucchino will be responsible and will provide support for Redman in overseeing the assessment of the curriculum for the Boys Division and student life. Bucchino is a 1971 graduate of Malden Catholic, holds a School Administration Degree as well as a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in school leadership. Bucchino has served at MC for more than 30 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.

• Girls Division Leader Jeff Smith: Smith, a 1995 graduate of Malden Catholic. Smith was hand-selected by Cenca to assist her with the administration of the Girls Division. He is well-respected and liked by the students and will provide support for Redman in overseeing the assessment of the curriculum for the Girls Division and student life. Smith has served as the assistant principal for student life for the past 12 years for both the Boys and Girls Divisions. He formerly served as Malden Catholic’s assistant athletic director. Smith’s additional responsibilities at Malden Catholic included teaching history and government, and serving as 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 Master of Education in school administration from Emmanuel College and an undergraduate degree in history from Radford University. He also earned a Graduate Certificate in School Safety from Eastern Kentucky University. In 2017, Smith received the Theodore James Ryken Award.

• Assistant Principal of Student Life James Grocki: Grocki has worked for over 14 years in Catholic education. In his early career, he served as teacher and coach at Malden Catholic for three years and then joined Our Lady of Assumption, grades pre-K to 8 as principal. Most recently, for the past three years, he has served as vice principal at Bishop Fenwick High School. In his new position as assistant principal of student life, he will be responsible for student life, school discipline and campus safety and security.

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