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Thomas Haferd named head of St. Paul's Choir School

By Pilot Staff
Posted: 4/20/2018

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CAMBRIDGE -- Father William Kelly, Pastor of St. Paul's Parish in Harvard Square, announced April 17 that Thomas Haferd, PhD has been appointed as the Head of School at St. Paul's Choir School, effective June 11.

Haferd comes to St. Paul's with years of teaching and administrative experience, having been involved in leadership of educational initiatives and Catholic organizations for his entire professional life. Through the years, he has taught in the Boston Public Schools, New York Public Schools, at Wheelock College and at Matignon High School. Haferd the administered Principals Academy at Columbia Teachers College and the SPES Program in Boston which served 2,500 middle and high school students in Dorchester and Mattapan by providing them wind and brass instrumental instruction.

"Because of his demonstrated success as an educator, leader and fundraiser, we are confident that he is the person to lead the Choir School to a bright future," said Father Kelly. "Dr. Haferd articulated a clear vision about ensuring academic excellence based on content, rigor, and collaboration. Moreover, he understands that the education of a boy is a holistic experience where character and moral development are key."

Haferd has earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Notre Dame, a master's in operations research from Columbia, an MBA in financial and strategic planning from Columbia, a master's in teaching and learning from Harvard, and a PhD in educational leadership from Columbia. Additionally, he has earned certifications in Massachusetts and New York State for teaching math and physics and in administration both as a principal and as a superintendent.

Advisory Board Chair Paul Haley, who also served as one of the search committee chairs, said "Dr. Haferd fell in love with the mission of St. Paul's Choir School well before he became a candidate for Head of School. He has spent the better part of the past three decades in the Harvard Square area, attending liturgies at St. Paul's and building relationships with leaders in the Harvard Square area."

"His education at Notre Dame, Harvard and Columbia prepares him well to lead a school in which our boys aspire to attend universities of that caliber. His teaching, administrative and advancement experiences also will allow Dr. Haferd to begin quickly to strengthen the school's processes in these areas," Haley continued.

Acting President Scot Landry commented, "Dr. Tom Haferd brings tremendous expertise in educational leadership, fundraising for Catholic initiatives, boys formational processes, and a deep love of choral music and the liturgies of St. Paul's Parish. He is an ideal fit to lead the school into its next chapter. Dr. Haferd innately understands the school's four-fold mission to be academically, musically, spiritually and formationally rigorous."

Haferd, noting St. Paul's "internationally renowned reputation," said "I am honored to have been selected to be able to contribute to its success over the next several years."

"I know that all faculty and staff at the school are committed to greatness. I share their enthusiasm and will do my best to match their energy, professionalism and dedication to the boys and to the school's mission. I am excited about what the future holds," he continued.

"Together we can continue to build upon the solid 50-year legacy of service to St. Paul's parish, providing beautiful liturgies to parishioners and all those who visit St. Paul's from across the globe. We can bring an unprecedented success to the families who seek a rich academic and musical education that brings joy, excitement and opportunity to their boys."