Salesianum School Announces New School President

Thomas A. Kardish has been named the fifth president in Salesianum school’s 118-year history, effective July 1, 2021. The announcement is the result of an extensive six-month search spearheaded by the Salesianum Board of Trustees’ Presidential Search Committee and the executive search firm, Carney Sandoe & Associates. The process commenced upon current President, Brendan Kennealey, ’94, announcing that he will be stepping down on June 30, 2021 after serving an historic ten-year term.

Kardish brings to Salesianum a diverse skill set that combines entrepreneurial management and executive leadership in both the corporate and educational realms. For the past six years, Tom has served as the President of Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, PA, an all-girls Catholic college-preparatory school founded by the Sisters of St. Casimir in 1932. Prior to his career transition to secondary education, Tom had a 30-year career in business that has extended from global sales and marketing with multinational pharmaceutical companies to entrepreneurship in running his own building products company for over 17 years.

Kardish graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned his MBA from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation from New York University’s Steinhardt School.

Nicholas M. Marsini ’73, Salesianum School’s Board Chairman, remarked upon making the announcement: “We are thrilled to welcome Tom to the Salesianum family. We were seeking a visionary leader with the experience, creativity, and business acumen to build upon the momentum that Brendan has established. I believe we got everything we wanted – and more – in Tom. I want to thank everyone who offered input and assistance during the search.”

“From the moment I stepped onto campus, I instantly felt at home”, explained Tom. “The sense of unanimity of mission and purpose was palpable, and the total buy-in, from students all the way up to the board, was very appealing for me. I want to thank the Oblates, Trustees, and the entire Salesianum family for their enthusiastic welcome.”

Very Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS, Provincial of the Wilmington/Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales noted, “Salesianum is our oldest and – in some ways – most important ministry. Tom is ready to not only embrace the Salesian Charism that animates Salesianum, but also to partner with us to ensure that future generations of Salesian Gentlemen continue to Live Jesus, not just in their four years at Sallies, but for their lives.”

Kardish will become the school’s second lay president, replacing outgoing president Kennealey, who earned a reputation as a dynamic and optimistic leader in executing transformational change at Salesianum. According to Marsini, “Brendan was an outstanding leader whose accomplishments were simply remarkable. Brendan leaves Salesianum in an extraordinary position on which Tom, as our new President, will be building. I know that I speak for Salesians everywhere in expressing our sincerest appreciation to Brendan, as well as our enthusiasm in welcoming Tom to Salesianum to advance our shared mission and build on the many achievements during Brendan’s tenure.”

Source: Salesianum School

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