(Pictured left to right, Gavin, Lexi, Dan and Claudia Carmody.) Cathedral High School President | 2020 In 2020, a wise 9-year-old asked her father if she could practice interviewing […]
(Pictured left to right, Gavin, Lexi, Dan and Claudia Carmody.)
Cathedral High School
President | 2020
In 2020, a wise 9-year-old asked her father if she could practice interviewing him for the career move he was pursuing in a leadership role at a Catholic School in Boston’s historic South End. When the mock interview was over she said, “Dad! That school sounds amazing, I really want you to work there!” That little girl was Lexie Carmody, and as you may have guessed, her father is Dan, the President of Cathedral High School. He recently shared, “When Lexie said that it hit me, if a 9-year-old can see the incredible value in the school’s mission, you know it must be strong.”
As a family man and former guidance counselor who has traveled the globe and dedicated his career to helping others, Dan has become a pillar of leadership for the students, faculty and staff at Cathedral. “When I think of Cathedral, I think of a school with almost 100 years of mission driven tradition – incredible. But what really excites me is the next 100 years. Between our amazing students and faculty, our Board leadership, our location, and are community partners, Cathedral is a school that is primed to thrive.” Before settling down, Dan’s sense of cultural curiosity, commitment to serving others, and open-minded approach to the road ahead led him on a path of service and self-discovery.
After graduating from Elon College, he set off for less chartered paths by joining the Peace Corps in Paraguay. “Before I got married and had kids, serving in the Peace Corps was the most meaningful experience in my life. Being the first group to leave the United States after the September 11th attacks made it a very surreal time to live abroad. To this day, there is not one experience in my life that hasn’t been impacted by my time in the Peace Corps. Whether it’s an admiration for new cultures, a desire to learn more about the backgrounds of our students, or an appreciation for folks who are truly working for a living, my lens on life has forever changed after a total of 5 years in South and Central America.”
In addition to serving abroad, Dan worked for two years at the Escuela Internacional Sampedrana in Honduras (where he met and married his wife Claudia) and created global partnerships around the world amongst Catholic schools. After seeing the disparity of educational environments in nearly every time zone, Dan wants every student who enters Cathedral to feel as if they’ve received a golden ticket. In 13 years of working in Catholic education he remarked, “I’ve never been part of a more important and powerful mission than Cathedral’s. It’s not enough for us to just open the door and provide access, our mission means Cathedral provides a life-changing education, and a transformational high school experience to students who are most at risk and have the greatest need.
I think there is an incredible resilience and drive in our community as a whole – it’s our job to make sure we give our students avenues and outlets to turn that drive into opportunity and accomplishment.” With the guidance of Cathedral’s leadership team and a remarkable sense of community, it is no surprise that CHS graduates leave feeling leadership ready, college ready, and life ready. While grateful and humbled for experiencing so many different cultures, it was the ability to do so through the lens of Catholic education that made it so meaningful for Dan. Visiting and creating partnerships in places like Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Poland, Colombia and Tanzania have allowed him to meet amazing people and garner a global understanding of our most intrinsic human qualities through the fibers and threads of community, family, and faith.
“Overall, my greatest hope is that my experiences have demonstrated the ultimate power of relationships and love. To me, everything else is secondary.” Taking a nod from his own mentor, Dan added that, “The most influential leader I ever worked with once told me that at the root of all strong leadership is kindness and compassion. Perhaps those qualities alone aren’t enough, but without them, I’m not sure what is left really matters.” When not beating traffic to greet Cathedral students before the sun rises or staying long after students have gone home, Dan greatly enjoys the time he spends cheering on his children from the sidelines of their athletic endeavors, and being in the great outdoors with his wife and kids camping.