After an extensive national search, the St. Joseph Catholic Academy Board of Directors announced on Friday afternoon that Deacon Patrick Moynihan has been selected as the school’s new president.
He will take over for the retiring Robert Freund, SJCA’s president and high school principal. Hired in 1981, Freund has served the school in a variety of roles from physical education teacher to state champion football coach to principal and president. The president/principal since 2010, he is the longest-serving president/principal in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Moynihan previously served as president of The Haitian Project and head of its Louverture Cleary School (LCS), a tuition-free private Catholic secondary boarding school outside of Port-au-Prince, for over 20 years. He led United States and Haitian faculty, staff and volunteers responsible for operating LCS, which he built into one of Haiti’s top education programs.
With a wealth of experience in strategic planning, fundraising, finance and communications, Moynihan also created one of the largest university scholarship programs in the country to ensure the success of LCS students after graduation. In addition, he is a published op-ed writer, a sought-after homilist and an excellent public speaker.
“I like that with the PK-12 model, St. Joseph Catholic Academy is dealing with the whole family,” Moynihan said in a press release. “There’s a holistic sense of how faith and community work together within the school.
“It’s a privilege to be offered the presidency of St. Joseph Catholic Academy. I am confident that the skills that I have developed over the past two decades as the president of The Haitian Project and head of Louverture Cleary School will serve me well as president of SJCA. Education works. And Catholic education works exceptionally well.”
Beth Bahr, the SJCA chair of the search committee, said a “number of qualified candidates” were interviewed for the position.
“Patrick’s experience, energy and charisma made him the ideal choice for St. Joseph Catholic Academy,” she said. “As a team, our search committee saw Patrick as clearly driven, dynamic, confident and a visionary. I am grateful for the dedication of the search committee members on this important decision.
“We are delighted to welcome Deacon Patrick Moynihan to SJCA.”
Freund, the outgoing president/high school principal, met with Moynihan during the interview process and came away impressed.
“He’s professional,” Freund said. “He understands what it takes to create a successful educational environment. I am excited to watch him lead and elevate SJCA to greater heights.”
Moynihan has received several awards, including an honorary doctorate in humanitarian service from Providence College, the Pierre Toussaint Medallion from the Archdiocese of New York for advancing the cause of educational opportunity, social justice and the gospel, and Brown University’s John Hope Award for public service.
He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned a master’s degree with distinction in religious studies from Providence College.
Moynihan’s other experiences include director of the office for the permanent diaconate and formation director in the Diocese of Rockford, teaching Latin and English, coaching track/cross country and working as a commodity trader and manager with the Louis Dreyfus Corporation.
Looking forward to making Kenosha his home, Moynihan has been married for 32 years to Christina, a former missionary teacher at LCS and the catalyst for the Moynihan’s family conversion to mission work more than two decades ago. They have four adult children spread across the country. Their youngest, Marianna, is currently completing her master’s in social work at the University of Michigan.