The Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (OCE) and Faith in the Future are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. James P. Gallagher as Principal of West Catholic Preparatory High School in West Philadelphia effective July 1st. He is the first lay principal in the history of the 98-year old school.
Mr. Gallagher’s appointment follows the January 2015 announcement that Sister Mary Bur, IHM, will retire at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year after 21 years as principal and 27 total years of service to the school.
Mr. Gallagher holds his Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Education from Temple University. For six years he has taught Science and Math at Lingelbach Elementary School for the School District of Philadelphia. Since 2011, he has worked as an Instructor of Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom at Saint Joseph’s University. In addition to his extensive work in education, Mr. Gallagher is also a Member of the Mercy Vocational High School Education Committee as well as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). He has also coached Track & Field at Saint Margaret Parish Elementary School in Narberth (Montgomery County) since 2010.
A new Principal will be the latest in a series of changes over the past three years for the school. Since July of 2012, West Catholic has welcomed a new President, Vice President, Vice Principal, Advancement, Admissions, and Counseling personnel, a new Board of Trustees, a Strategic Plan, a new school name (Preparatory), and various physical enhancements. Enrollment and fundraising growth has been consistent over that time as well.