Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools
Michael J. Deegan has served the Church in Catholic education for almost forty years. He has taught at every level from elementary school through college and was a Catholic school principal for twenty years. In 2004, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, appointed Mr. Deegan Director of Inner City Schools to work with the 122 elementary and secondary inner-city schools of the Archdiocese.
Mr. Deegan was appointed Superintendent of Schools in September 2019, after having served as Interim Superintendent since April 2019, and as Deputy Superintendent of Schools since 2013. Mr. Deegan is a graduate of St. Philip Neri School, Bronx and Rice High School in Harlem; holds a bachelor’s degree from Iona College, a master of science in education from the College of New Rochelle and completed his post graduate studies at Manhattan College and Fordham University. Mr. Deegan is the recipient of numerous awards including the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Compassionate Educator Award, the John J. Bruno Catholic Service Award and is the Brother Edmund Rice-Christian Brothers of North America Centenary Partner Honoree.
Letters From the Superintendent
Catholic Schools Week 2020
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January 24, 2020
Dear Catholic Schools Family,
Celebration! What a great word. Four syllables with a strong crescendo. Next Sunday millions around the world will witness either the 49ers or the Chiefs celebrate a Super Bowl win. March Madness will provide many celebrations on the road to the Final Four, and who doesn’t love a beautiful wedding or just singing “Happy Birthday”? For those of us blessed to share in our sacred mission, Catholic Schools Week is the opportunity to celebrate who we are and what we do. This is our victory parade, and we deserve every mile of it because we win every day.
We celebrate when we see the exquisite joy of watching the face of a child light up when she or he pronounces their first word, or reads their first sentence out loud. We experience the same elation when we see the unbelievable wonderment in the eyes of a child as they realize we have given them the key to unlock the secret to a lifetime of reading and learning. Is there anything more moving than when that student in a special education class shoots their hand into the air with that unique confidence that only comes with knowing the answer?
Most importantly, we celebrate our faith when we see a transformational glow come across a child when he or she embraces the knowledge that Jesus will love them unconditionally and be by their side throughout their life. So much for the World Series being a big deal…
While we celebrate our Catholic identity within our schools, it is particularly gratifying to see that role played out in the larger community, as our students are of service to their neighbors. This year in particular, our schools are taking every opportunity to share the joy of generosity and sacrifice in service projects. Whether in collections for Catholic Charities, the Catholic Relief Service, local soup kitchens and homeless shelters or nursing homes, our students are living their faith, not just talking about it. What a great example they are setting for us all!
Isn’t that something? In celebrating our schools, we adults can learn a thing or two from the children we are teaching. Talk about winning! Be happy this Catholic Schools Week, because there is so much to celebrate.
Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Welcome to Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York
Welcome to the Catholic school system of the Archdiocese of New York, one of the largest and most diverse in the nation. For two centuries, we have taught and nurtured children from varied backgrounds, especially those new to our land. In doing so, we have successfully provided our students with the life-changing opportunities that are inherent in a Catholic education, opportunities that excite, encourage and inspire, and most importantly, which foster a lasting relationship with Our Lord.
Over the years, our graduates have made impressive contributions in the fields of law, medicine, government and business, and assumed leadership positions in corporations large and small. We are most proud, however, of how our students consistently demonstrate our values by bringing the commitment to service learned in Catholic schools to all that they do, enriching their families, parishes and communities.
With our shared community of faith as our inspiration, the Superintendent’s Office is committed to strengthening Catholic education for the future. As we position our schools to grow and thrive in the 21st century, we continue to implement our strategic initiative, Pathways to Excellence, to chart a fresh, bold course for our newly regionalized school system that will ensure excellence in all aspects of Catholic education throughout the Archdiocese.
We encourage parents and pastors, principals and parishioners, business leaders and benefactors to join with us as we build on our Catholic school tradition for a new era.
Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Pathways to Excellence
Throughout two centuries, the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York have maintained a steadfast dedication to educational excellence and Catholic culture rooted in faith, service and personal responsibility.
Inspired by that tradition, a three-year strategic plan, Pathways to Excellence, was initiated in 2010 to help the elementary schools of the archdiocese fulfill their critical mission as Christ-centered, academically excellent and welcoming communities.
Implementation entailed careful study and candid assessment of the school system’s strengths and areas for potential improvement. Designed not only to preserve, but advance Catholic education in New York, Pathways outlined critical objectives and realistic strategies to ensure the long-term success of a healthy system of fully-enrolled schools grounded in the Catholic faith.
One of the most ambitious – and necessary – strategies of this wide-ranging plan was to keep Catholic schools accessible and affordable by transitioning most elementary schools from the historical parish-based school model to a more sustainable regional one.
With regionalization, every parish, even those without a school on the property, and those whose schools remain parish-based, has a voice and an investment in the Catholic schools in their communities.
To serve students throughout the archdiocese, Pathways to Excellence embraces present challenges as an opportunity for change and renewal. It envisions current and upcoming leaders who will provide the bold, creative and energetic direction that will sustain the mission of Catholic education for generations to come. Pathways to Excellence reaffirms that the support of Catholic education is a communal, ecclesial duty that extends beyond the parents of school children and the parishes where schools are located.
Now, everybody is doing their part, sharing responsibilities and working together to ensure a bright and vibrant future for Catholic education in New York.