He assumed this position on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
After Bruce Robinson announced his resignation from the role of president of Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School in March to pursue other opportunities, the school was left searching to find a viable replacement.
Months later, it announced that East Torresdale resident Joseph M. McColgan would assume this position, effective Aug. 1.
A joint effort among the school’s board of directors and administrators from the Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future, McColgan’s selection came as a result of his admirable past achievements in the field of education and beyond.
For example, upon graduation from Archbishop Ryan in 1980, McColgan went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in political science from Villanova University. He has also obtained a master’s degree in business administration from Villanova, and embarked on a second master’s program in international relations from San Diego State University.
“Education is important because it’s the basis of everything that we do,” McColgan said. “The world and environment are changing, and education helps prepare us all for tomorrow.
Aside from schooling, McColgan served as a member of the armed forces from 1984 to ’89, after earning his bachelor’s degree and before his master’s. In the role of officer, he gave five years of his life to the United States Navy at the Naval Amphibious Base in California, before receiving an honorable discharge.
Upon moving forward from his military career, McColgan sought new employment in the field of finance, as he built his managerial resume through working at renowned institutions including Fisher Investments, Wells Fargo Private Bank, SEI Investment Co., Philadelphia Consulting Group, LLC and Merrill Lynch.
“Entering the world of investments gave me an entrepreneurial role, and the opportunity to build and create things with an entrepreneurial mentality,” McColgan said. “It was the vehicle that allowed me to do what I wanted to do, but I’ve always been passionate about education. I feel that we owe it to the children and leaders of tomorrow to provide them with the best education possible.”
Continuing to advance his managerial prowess, in 2015 McColgan founded Acretive/212°, an early development start-up. Through this opportunity, he was able to utilize his skills to create a “full-service, hands-on Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction.”
Ultimately, this service helped the company provide its clients with professional marketing and personal brand building, strategic and career coaching, professional development, training and objective financial advice and investment research.
“Everything I’ve done has been to solve problems from an entrepreneurial standpoint by looking at situations and finding solutions to make things better,” McColgan said.
Further adding to his leadership credentials, the 55-year-old has also been a candidate for public office several times, running as a Republican nominee for Congress in 1990 and ’96 and pursuing a City Council at-large seat in 2011. He is a former board member of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.
Today, he is a board member for the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House and Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute and is co-chair of the Development Advisory Board of Prevent Child Abuse PA.
In terms of his religious affiliations, McColgan remains a parishioner of St. Katherine of Siena Parish. He plans to use his passion for education and involvement in the church to help the Catholic education at Neumann-Goretti flourish.
“I plan to carry on and attempt to fill the shoes of [Robinson],” McColgan said. “He turned the school around and stopped the bleeding. If we need to do some tweaking around the edges, we will, but I plan to pick up the ball where he left it and run it down the field.”
Despite being in this period of transition, McColgan also plans to continue the South Philadelphia school’s focus on positive transformation “under the guidance of teachers and administrators.” Committed to championing collaborative relationships, he intends on assessing all elements of the school while increasing fundamentals including enrollment, development and fundraising efforts. He added he also has some big ideas planned for the future.
“We extend our sincere gratitude to the interview committee and all who helped to bring this process to a successful conclusion. Collaboration is a core value in our organization,” Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti stated in a press release. “We believe that Mr. McColgan, along with current administrators at Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti, are laser focused on equipping saints for life, in this world and the next.” ••