‘Head of school’ named for new NW Side parochial school


The principal of a parochial school in Burbank has been selected to lead the Pope Francis Global Academy that will open this August on the campuses of Saint Tarcissus, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave., and Saint Pascal, 6143 W. Irving Park Road.

Saint Albert the Great School principal Terrence O’Rourke recently accepted the head of school position for the academy, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced on Jan. 8.

“Mr. O’Rourke brings a vast array of expertise to the head of school position, including principal leadership, curriculum and instruction, high school teaching and coaching, as well as strategic business planning,” Catholic schools superintendent Dr. Jim Rigg said in a statement.

Saint Tarcissus, Saint Pascal, Our Lady of Victory and Saint Cornelius schools are closing this spring due to enrollment concerns and are merging into the academy, which will offer pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade classes. The campuses of Our Lady of Victory, 4434 N. Laramie Ave., and Saint Cornelius, 5252 N. Long Ave., will not be used for the academy, and plans for those facilities have not been announced.

During O’Rourke’s tenure at Saint Albert, the school experienced a 53-percent increase in enrollment, reaching its highest level in 7 years, according to Rigg. “Additionally, he has overseen an expansion of the library, renovations of the early childhood classrooms and computer lab, incorporation of wireless capability throughout the school and a rebranding campaign, including logo, Web site and marketing materials,” Rigg said.

O’Rourke has a bachelor of arts in English from Northern Illinois University, a master of arts in English from DePaul University and a master of arts in education administration/strategic planning from Dominican University.

“We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our current principals of Saint Cornelius, Saint Pascal, Our Lady of Victory and Saint Tarcissus over the last year of planning for Pope Francis Global Academy. You have made this new school possible.

“Our searches for deputy principal, director of advancement and enrollment, and director of business operations are still in process, and we hope to have announcements shortly on these positions,” Rigg said.

O’Rourke is scheduled to attend the open houses which will be held on both campuses of the academy on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 31.