On Jan. 4, the administration announced Tom Durkin as the new principal for the 2017-18 year. Durkin is currently the Assistant Principal at St. Vincent Palotti High School and will officially become principal on June 12.
Durkin has been the Assistant Principal at Palotti for two years, and he worked previously at Loyola Blakefield for 25 years. At Loyola, Durkin was a learning specialist and the Chair of the English Department.
Durkin underwent a three-step interview process to secure the Principal. “He had an initial series of phone interviews with our [Human Resources] person, then I had an extensive phone interview [with him], then he came to campus and met with faculty, staff, students, parent representatives, trustees, and alumni,” O’Hara said.
O’Hara was impressed by Durkin’s interview. “What struck me was just his very clear sense that he would provide a strong academic program here,” O’Hara said
After receiving positive reactions from all those who interviewed Durkin, O’Hara then underwent the process of checking Durkin’s references and securing approval with the superintendent of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The superintendent then had a phone interview with Durkin who was eventually granted the Archdiocese’s approval.
While O’Hara checked Durkin’s references, he received positive feedback. “His references from Loyola Blakefield said, ‘John Carroll could not find a more qualified, motivated, passionate, and dedicated professional than Tom Durkin to be your next principal. Above all, in his work you can see his love of the students,’” he said.
Durkin is grateful for the response he received from the community during his visits and is looking forward to becoming a part of JC. “I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone at John Carroll. Everyone I have met at JC has made me feel very welcomed. The students, teachers, parents, staff, and coaches have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable even though I am new to the community,” Durkin said.
Durkin plans to “work with the faculty to help facilitate 21st century curricula and skills that we know our students need. Our students and the society in which they live have unique challenges, and John Carroll will continue to help our students meet those challenges successfully.”
Overall, Durkin looks forward to taking on the responsibilities of principal. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve as principal,” he said.
Grace Mottley is the Assignment Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.