Interim Head of School of Mount St. Dominic Academy

Interim Head of School of Mount St. Dominic Academy

June 11, 2021


Dear Mount Community:

Based on the recommendation of the Search Committee, unanimous acceptance by the Board of Trustees and approval and appointment of the Prioress and Council of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, we are pleased to announce that James “Jay” MacDonald will serve as Interim Head of School of Mount St. Dominic Academy. 

Jay comes to us as a proven leader in Catholic education with considerable depth and experience as both educator and administrator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Theology from Iona College and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Boston College and holds certifications in teaching and administration. Jay served nine years as President and CEO of Catholic Memorial School in Boston and prior to that as Principal and CEO of Tampa Catholic High School in Florida. He also served as an advancement officer for the Christian Brothers and Iona College and has years of teaching experience prior to serving in leadership roles. He has a proven track record of improving academic programs, increasing enrollment and major gifts, and creating enthusiasm and a strong sense of community in every institution he served. Jay is also a man of deep faith who is committed to carrying forward the Dominican pillars and the mission of the Mount. We look forward to Jay inspiring our students, faculty, staff and administration and leading our Mount community forward during this important time. A more comprehensive packet of information regarding Jay's background will be emailed next week.

This news is the culmination of a thoughtful and thorough process that began in the spring when Sister Fran announced her retirement after 23 years as Head of School. We determined that an interim head would be in the Mount’s best interest while we undertake the longer process of searching for a permanent head. We put together an interim search committee comprised of Sisters, Board Trustees, and faculty and retained a search firm. We interviewed numerous candidates from a larger pool and ultimately selected two finalists for consideration by the Mount community. We carefully conducted interviews and personal reference checks and discerned feedback from faculty, administrators, staff and Board Trustees. This process confirmed that Jay MacDonald was the best choice to lead the Mount during this period of transition and we are grateful that he has accepted the invitation to join us as Interim Head of School in July. 

We are thankful for everyone’s participation in this process and look forward to warmly welcoming Jay to the Mount this summer. This is truly an exciting time for all of us! We are confident that Jay’s experience, enthusiasm and faith-inspired humility will ensure that the legacy of Mount St. Dominic Academy will continue to grow and thrive for generations to come. 



Madeline Cox-Arleo
Chair, MSDA Board of Trustees


See more about our search process.

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