Mark DiFabio, who has served as an administrator and teacher in Catholic education for the last 15 years, has been named Assistant Head of School/Principal at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn.
He replaces Carl DiMaiti, who is moving into a new position as Special Assistant to the Head of School, focusing primarily on enrollment and advancement.
DiFabio comes to St. Mary’s – a Catholic, co-educational grade 6-12 school – from St. John’s Prep in Danvers, where has been Assistant Principal for Freshmen and Sophomores since 2010. Prior to that, he taught religious studies at The Prep for three years.
“Mark brings a passion for excellence in Catholic education and a mission-driven vision to St. Mary’s,” said Head of School Grace Cotter Regan, who co-chaired the search committee with Elizabeth Twomey, a St. Mary’s trustee. “I feel blessed to share a leadership role with Mark and look forward to advancing the mission of St. Mary’s together.”
Chosen from a pool of 40 applicants, DiFabio said he was attracted to St. Mary’s by the family atmosphere for which the school is known.
“What I find exciting about St. Mary’s is the fantastic sense of community,” he said. “There is a feeling of optimism and excitement. There is a lot of great work being done here, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
At St. John’s Prep, DiFabio was responsible for coordinating programs for freshmen and sophomores, including placement, curriculum, orientation, merit scholarships and international studies. He also helped develop a 360 degree review process for faculty and staff.
“Mark has been a valued educational leader in the Prep community,” said St. John’s Headmaster Ed Hardiman. “He is well respected by students, parents and faculty, and we wish him well in his work as principal at St. Mary’s.”
Prior to coming to St. John’s Prep, DiFabio taught theology for eight years at Cheverus High School, a Jesuit school in Portland, Maine, where he also served as assistant athletic director. He also taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses at St. Joseph’s College in Maine. He recently completed his doctorate in education at the Boston College Lynch School of Education. He also holds a degree in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.
“Mark emerged as the strongest candidate in a very good field,” said Twomey. “He impressed the committee with his depth of understanding and his commitment to mission. By his education, training and temperament, Mark is well suited to work with Grace in leading St. Mary’s at this time.”
Twomey and Regan led a search committee that included: Rev. Joseph O’Keefe, S.J., former dean of the Lynch School of Education at BC; St. Mary’s Marian Division Coordinator Jade Henne; Dean of Advancement Katie Dearing; teacher Lawrence Doherty; parent Susan Carroll; benefactor Jane Mosakowski of Swampscott; St. Mary’s Pastor Rev. Brian Flynn; Dean of Instructional Technology and Integrated Curriculum Art Gribbins; Professional development consultant Dr. Ann McGreevy; and Boston College High School Principal Stephen Hughes.
A Brimfield, Mass., native who lives in Exeter, N.H. with his wife, Kathy, and 11-year-old daughter, Sophia, DiFabio spent the day at St. Mary’s Monday meeting members of the faculty and administration, as well as five rising seniors: Gabriele Ayers, Tatiana Doucette, Melissa LeFave, Helio Meirelles Neto and Brianna Rudolph. If first impressions count, he will be a big hit.
“He’s very personable and he wants to get to know us,” LeFave said.
“He told us it’s his job to make our experience better, not the other way around,” Neto added.
“He asked us what St. Mary’s is all about and we told him it is a family, where everyone knows everyone,” said Rudolph. “He liked that.”
DiFabio is expected to start in July.