A Letter from the Chairman of the Board and Headmaster - Regarding School for Girls
Posted 04/28/2017 08:05AM

Dear Members of the Malden Catholic Community,

For the past two years, the administration and Board of Trustees have been carefully studying the feasibility of opening a school for girls at Malden Catholic. During that time, we have received support and encouragement from alumni, faculty, parents, and students all excited about the prospect of Malden Catholic offering a parallel program for young women. In November, the Board cast a preliminary vote of support and began looking at various options around facilities, financing, and leadership. We have made great progress in all of these areas over the past four months, and we are pleased to announce that this week the Board has approved a plan to open a girls’ school in September of 2018.

Members of the Board and the administration strongly believe in the value of single-gender education. We know that young men and young women have the best chance of reaching their potential in an academic environment that encourages them to express themselves freely and minimizes the social pressures of adolescence. We also believe that young people need opportunities outside of the classroom to interact and work together so as to be prepared for college and their life beyond. We are confident that this codivisonal structure, with single-gender academics but the ability to work together and socialize outside of the class day offers the best of both worlds.

The new program will launch in the current school building in an area that formerly housed the Xaverian Brothers when they lived on campus. The girls will have a separate wing, though some facilities, like the gymnasium and the auditorium will be used by both schools. Malden Catholic has hired Miller Dyer Spears Architects and J. Calnan Construction to oversee the renovation and expansion for the girls’ school. MDS and Calnan previously worked with Malden Catholic in the design and construction of the O’Donnell Learning Commons and Science Wing.

We recognize that as the girls’ school grows, the current campus will not be able to accommodate all the needs of both schools. In order to be prepared for this eventuality, Malden Catholic has signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire 50 Crystal Street, the former Viking Seafood Plant. We are grateful to the sellers who have allowed us to purchase the building at a significant discount to market value.

In February, we began a national search for a principal to lead our new girls’ school. We retained the services of an independent recruiter, Gail Blandford, to lead our search. She reached out across many networks and interviewed many people about what would make the ideal candidate. We received dozens of résumés from highly skilled applicants. After an extensive interview process, I am pleased to announce that Lisa Cenca will serve as the first principal of the girls’ school.

Lisa is currently Malden Catholic’s Director of Specialized Learning. She oversees the Brother Kevin Program as well as our International Student Program. Lisa came to Malden Catholic ten years ago and in that time built the Brother Kevin Program to be one of the most premiere specialized learning programs in the area. Lisa’s ability to work with students of all ability levels demonstrates her deep knowledge of how students learn. Whether it is working with a struggling freshman or helping a senior fill out an application to an Ivy League college, Lisa understands all aspects of the student experience. Additionally, her leadership skills in developing and overseeing the Brother Kevin program and its cohort of teachers and her passion for MC and its students make her the ideal person to lead our girls’ school.

The launch of the girls’ school marks a major point in the history of Malden Catholic. We are excited to offer the only Catholic, all-girls option for students north of Boston. Over the next few months, under Lisa’s leadership, we will develop and refine the programmatic details of the girls’ school. We look forward to educating young women and providing them the same excellent educational, developmental, athletic, and social opportunities that we have for young men since 1932.




Jim Donovan
Chairman of the Board

Thomas J. Doherty III



For frequently asked questions regarding the Malden Catholic School for Girls, click here.

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