Officials at Holy Cross School, the former Lower 9th Ward institution now situated in Gentilly, announced Tuesday that they have selected a New Orleans native, career educator and “second-generation Holy Cross man” as the school’s next headmaster.
Sean P. Martin, who graduated from the Catholic boys school in 1992, will start July 1. He replaces Charles J. DiGange, who is retiring after 13 years in the job.
“Mr. Martin has an intimate knowledge of the school’s history, mission and its Catholic identity,” DiGange said in a statement, adding that he is “confident” that Martin will approach the role “with the proper enthusiasm and dedication the office requires.”
James Meza, chairman of the school’s board of directors, said the hiring came after an “extensive national search” and “months of reviewing, vetting and interviewing potential candidates.” He said a search committee approved Martin unanimously.
Holy Cross, which traces its history back to 1849, is the only all-boys Catholic school in the New Orleans area to include pre-K through 12th grade. It has about 1,000 students.
Martin now is executive director of WorkReady U, which coordinates adult education programs for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. He oversees planning for 34 providers and more than 500 employees throughout the state, serving about 40,000 students annually.
He previously served as a coordinator for the system’s Accelerating Opportunity initiative, which focused on redesigning the state’s adult education system.
Before joining the community college system, Martin worked at Delgado Community College for 15 years. He held various positions during his tenure, including director of teacher education and adult literacy.
Martin received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, now called the University of Holy Cross.
Prior to that, he received “numerous accolades” from Holy Cross School, officials said. He graduated with honors, served in student leadership and played several varsity sports.
Martin lives in New Orleans with his wife Jenna and their five children, one of whom is a sophomore at Holy Cross School.
During an interview with The New Orleans Advocate, Martin said he sought in his previous positions to “challenge the status quo” of traditional ways of providing education. He said he will continue that mission at Holy Cross by continuing to look for and implement emerging best practices from throughout the country.
He also said he was “honored” to be going “back home.”
“I feel I have a deep understanding of the Holy Cross mission, and our Catholic identity,” Martin said. “I want Holy Cross to continue to be a beacon of lifelong learning. My goal is to continue that culture and even make it stronger.”