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Father Thomas Collins Appointed President of Stepinac High School
Stepinac Alumni Takes Reins of 63-Year-Old School
By: Frank Pagani
Father Collins,who grew up in White Plains, is a 1979 graduate of the schooland is a member of a family with strong connections to the all boys’ high school on Mamaroneck Avenue that was founded 63 years ago. His two brothers, John (Class of 1980) and Joe (1981), along with his nephew, Joe (2009) are Stepinac graduates and another nephew, Michael, graduated just last month. His parents, Thomas and Martha Collins, have lived in White Plains for the last 35 years.
Father Collins graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Father Collins studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1992. In 1995 he returned to Stepinac as a member of the faculty. In 2001 he was named Associate Dean of Students and a year later became Dean of Students, a position he held until 2007 when he joined the school’s Office of Development. An avid and accomplished golfer, he has been coach of Stepinac’s golf team for the last 15 years.
As a priest, Father Collins celebrates Mass on Sundays at three Westchester parishes: Resurrection Church in Rye, Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains. He serves as board member at The School of the Holy Child in Rye and has been active in civic affairs in the community including serving as an aide to the Grand Marshall at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in White Plains.
“I am honored to have been chosen to fill this important position at the school to which so much of my life has been closely associated,”
He added: “Now that we are an independent school, Stepinac is facingboth new challenges and new opportunities. Over the last three years we have seen a significant increase in enrollment and we are confident that we will be able to maintain this very positive trend.We have a dedicated and motivated faculty, staff and administration that has embraced our new era asan independent school. This fall we will open a new turf athletic field that will be a major improvement for our athleticprogram. We have numerous other exciting projects we are pursuing to expand and improve Stepinac’scurricula and academics. This is an exciting time to be a part of Stepinac and I look forward to having a leadership role as we move forward.”
William F. Plunkett Jr., Stepinac’s Board Chairman, said:“We are extremely fortunate to have an individual with Father Collins’ abilities and deep knowledge of the school be able to step into this critically important role. Msgr. Marchitelli has provided a steady hand in overseeing the school during the transition to independence and leaves us with a solid foundation on which to build for the future. We are indebted to him for all he has done for the school.” Msgr. Marchitelli has been named administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption parish in the Bronx. He had been at Stepinac since 2003.
Mr. Plunkett said that Father Collins’ experience with Stepinac as a student, teacher and administrator provide him with a unique perspective. His experience in Stepinac’s Development Office over the last several years has also given him an in-depth knowledge of the financial needs and goals of the school.
“Now that Stepinac is an independent school, it iscrucially important that we continue to enhance our academics, enrich our many extracurricular programs and expand our fund raising activities. We enjoy the solid support of our Board of Trustees, the Stepinac Foundation and our alumni. Father Collins will play a key role in shaping and expanding the involvement of Stepinac’s expansive alumni base in our fundraising, as well as in overseeing the educational experience that Stepinac offers.”
Founded in 1948, Archbishop Stepinac High School’s mission is to offer young men a highly competitive academic and extracurricular program that will prepare them for college and leadership roles. The faculty and staff accomplish these objectives by pursuing excellence and creating a supportive, disciplined atmosphere with a strong sense of camaraderie and Christian values that are unique to the Stepinac experience. For more information on Stepinac High School, please visit www.stepinac.org.