Born and raised in Baltimore in the United States, I moved to England in 1992 to study Middle East Politics at Durham University. While this did not lead to the PhD that I was pursuing at the time, it did lead me to uncovering and embracing my priestly vocation. I was ordained for the Diocese in 2009 and spent my first few years as a priest working in Sunderland, Darlington and then Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. I was appointed Parish Priest of Blackhill and Shotley Bridge in September 2013. I joined the governing body for St. Mary’s School shortly thereafter and have continued in that role ever since.
Obviously, as priest governor, my main interest is in helping to foster and strengthen the wonderful Catholic ethos that we’ve always had in our school, and also to build stronger links where possible between the parishes and the school. I’d probably do a poor job with that if I didn’t get so much help! There’s been quite a bit of turnover in terms of personnel during my tenure. I think I’m now the only remaining governor from when I started, and we’ve appointed a new Headteacher, several new Deputy Heads and three Chairs of Governors in just eight years. But I can honestly say that, in the midst of all those changes, I’ve always been working as part of a fantastic team. We’re blessed in the local parishes and also the school community with lots of generous, dedicated and gifted people who are really committed to supporting our children in their Catholic education.