We are delighted to announce that Charlie McGrath has been appointed as the new principal of Serra High School. He will assume office in July.
McGrath was the assistant superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Madison, WI, before accepting the position at Serra. The energy of the student community drew him back to the high school environment.
"I'm excited to join the Serra community to continue its tradition of excellence and to work with the boys throughout their high school experience," said McGrath, who has relatives in the Bay Area.
McGrath has a master's degree in educational administration and a bachelor's degree in religious studies and philosophy. He began his career as a campus minister and theology teacher at St. Michael's Catholic Academy in Austin, TX. He later moved into administration as an assistant principal and principal at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, AL.
"Charlie brings exceptional leadership skills to Serra," said current Principal Barry Thornton, Ed.D., who will transition to the role of president in July. "His tenure at John Carroll High School was marked by innovative academic programs, cutting-edge technology changes and student success in accessing a wide range of college choices."
Growing up on the East Coast of Canada in Newfoundland, McGrath's small-town roots taught him the importance of a welcoming environment and an open-door policy. He grew up near the ocean, and he is looking forward to living near the water once again. McGrath described himself as an active listener who wants to get to know his students and parents.
"I'm a hands-on leader," he said. "Everyone I deal with should feel valued and welcomed. My goal as principal is to be sure that every student will grow to become a successful young man while feeling valued, safe and respected. We have to give our boys space to figure things out and the parameters to explore their own hearts, minds and souls."
"Charlie's colleagues praised his ability to listen deeply to the needs of the students and skillfully guide the community to respond," Thornton noted. "Through this process, he was able to implement changes that met the needs of the students at John Carroll, including a revised schedule and academic programs in STEM, performing arts and social justice."
McGrath particularly admires the Padre brotherhood and said it's important for Padres to walk with each other on their life paths.
"You're only as strong as your weakest brother," McGrath said. "We are all responsible for caring for our brothers. That's the added value of a Serra education. Catholic schools, in cooperation with families as the primary educators, educate the whole child–body, mind and spirit–by providing an excellent education rooted in Gospel values. Serra brings faith, culture and life together in harmony."