Bishop McGann-Mercy

Q&A: Meet the new interim principal at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School

Bishop McGann-Mercy High School will start the 2017-18 school year with a new leader. Rev. John Hogan, a Catholic deacon, will become the school’s interim principal next month.

He will be the first deacon to serve as the principal at the school and has nearly 40 years of experience working in both Catholic and public schools across Long Island and New York City.

We sat down with him at his office to discuss his new role at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School. Here are some excerpts.

Q: What’s your professional background?

A: I was ordained just this past June by Bishop John Barres. This is my 40th year in education, the majority of which was spent in high school education either as a teacher or as an administrator. I also served as assistant superintendent of schools in the Elwood School District. I retired in June 2016, but I was superintendent of the West Hempstead School District from 2007 to 2016. I was also the director of religious education at Holy Spirit parish in New Hyde Park.

Q: Why did you decide to come to Bishop McGann-Mercy High School?

A: I spent the first 18 years of my career in Catholic education in Brooklyn and the last 20 years in public education. The opportunity to come back to Catholic education and the opportunity to work in a high school again, along with the junior high students, was just an opportunity I couldn’t resist. I’m very happy to be here. I’ve done some research and I just think McGann-Mercy is a diamond. It’s just a wonderful place for Catholic education on the East End.

Q: What are your goals as principal?

A:  My goal for this school year is to first and foremost provide some stability in the administration and to continue to oversee and provide the students with the best possible educational experience they can have in terms of their faith, their academics, their athletics and their social interactions. There’s truly a Catholic presence here, a Christian presence. That’s something that we’re going to be sure continues and infuses everything we do everyday. I think Catholic education on Long Island can really help [missionary growth,] in terms of evangelizing not just our own students, but us as well. If I can play a small part in that, that’s good. 

Q: What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

A: I’m excited not just to be at McGann-Mercy, but I’m excited to be in Riverhead and in Suffolk County again. I expect that people will get to see me around at various events because I believe McGann-Mercy is very much a part of this community. So I’m looking forward to those interactions and getting to know not just the people in the building, but the people in the community and give them the opportunity to get to know me.

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Photo: Rev. John Hogan will serve as Bishop McGann-Mercy High School’s interim principal during the 2017-18 school year. (Credit: Nicole Smith)