March 12, 2019
Dear Members of the Saint Peter’s Prep Community:
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Michael A. Gomez, Ed.D., Class of 1991, as the 28th president of Saint Peter’s Prep. Concurrently, the provincial of the Jesuits’ U.S.A. Northeast Province, Rev. John J. Cecero, S.J., has named Dr. Gomez Director of the Work, responsible for Prep’s Ignatian mission. Both appointments are effective July 1, 2019.
Dr. Gomez is a proud Prep man and has been engaged in Jesuit education since 1997, when he returned to Saint Peter’s Prep. Over the next several years, he served as an English faculty member, baseball coach, club moderator, and retreat director. This was followed by a three-year stint at Creighton Prep as the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs, where among other academic initiatives, he established a summer program focusing on the recruitment and retention of minority students.
Following Creighton Prep, Dr. Gomez spent six year as Principal at Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia where he successfully reinvigorated the Ignatian identity of the school. His most recent assignment was as founding Principal of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Cristo Rey schools offer a unique blend of college preparatory coursework with corporate work internships primarily to economically underserved students. In his role there, Dr. Gomez successfully built a strong faculty, created a vibrant value-based culture, and oversaw curriculum, athletics, student counseling, campus ministry, and college placement. He worked closely with the Cristo Rey president and Board of Trustees to raise awareness of the school’s mission, build a robust donor base, and create and maintain strong relationships with corporate partners.
Dr. Gomez is a graduate of Providence College (B.A., English), SUNY Binghamton (M.A. English), Teacher’s College, Columbia University (M.A. Independent School Administration), and the University of Pennsylvania (Doctor of Education). In addition to his intellectual rigor, the Search Committee was taken by his energetic leadership, commitment to the Jesuit mission, and his deep care of faculty, staff, and particularly students.
For several years, Dr. Gomez taught a graduate course, “Leadership in Educational Institutions,” at the University of Pennsylvania. Also, he is a leadership coach at the University of Notre Dame’s Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program. Dr. Gomez served on the Saint Peter’s Prep Board of Trustees from 2011-2016. In addition, he has been a member of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association National Board of Directors, and served as National Chair of the United States Jesuit High School Principals. Dr. Gomez is a sought-after speaker, covering a range of topics including educational reform, leadership, mission identity, and the ideals of Jesuit education.
Dr. Gomez will become the fifth alumnus to serve as Prep’s President. He will also be the school’s first lay president – to date, all of Prep’s presidents have been Jesuit priests. This reflects a broader trend, ongoing among Catholic institutions in general, and Jesuit institutions in particular, of investing greater responsibility beyond the ranks of the clergy. Indeed, we are joining the norm; at this time a majority of the presidents of Jesuit high schools in the United States and Canada are lay men and women.
We are grateful to the Society of Jesus for their encouragement during our selection process. Father Cecero wrote: “I am delighted to endorse the election of Dr. Michael Gomez as the next President of Saint Peter’s Prep. An experienced leader in Catholic and Jesuit education, Dr. Gomez’ values are deeply aligned with the Jesuit identity of Prep, and I am confident that he will skillfully partner with the Society of Jesus and the entire Prep community to advance its cherished mission.”
I would also like to extend my most sincere thanks to Rev. Kenneth J. Boller, S.J., for his steadfast and experienced leadership of Prep over these last six years. We wish him all the best in his next assignment. His dedication to Prep and to Jesuit education has been felt throughout our Province, and we are grateful to him for his time at and care of Saint Peter’s Prep.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gomez on his appointment and celebrating this great day for Saint Peter’s Prep. Thank you for your ongoing engagement, support, and prayers for Prep and especially for Dr. Gomez as he undertakes his new responsibilities. Dr. Gomez has described Prep as “the house that built me” and it is with great enthusiasm and love that we welcome him home to begin this next chapter.
Philip F. McGovern, Jr., ’76, P’11
Chair, Saint Peter’s Prep Board of Trustees