By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There is a new team at the top at Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School.
The school recently welcomed a new principal, Thomas P. Arria Jr., and a new chairman of its board of directors, Myles Davis.
“It’s a new beginning for Bishop Ford as we chart our legacy for the next 50 years,” Davis said. “The challenges are great for Catholic schools today, but our commitment to paving the way to success for our student body remains as strong as ever,” he said.
Arria, a native of Massachusetts, said he’s pleased to be at Bishop Ford. On his first day on the job, he addressed the school’s freshmen, who will graduate in 2017.
“I have great respect for the deep-rooted history and rich community tapestry that makes up Bishop Ford High School today,” said Thomas Arria.
“As someone who was inspired to the field of education by my own high school teachers and mentors, I am extremely honored to have been selected to articulate the school’s Catholic mission and philosophy to a new generation of students and graduates,” Arria said.
Arria replaces interim principal Sam Sued who returns to his role as vice principal.
Located at 500 19th St., Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School was established in 1962. The school was named after Brooklyn born Bishop Francis Xavier Ford. The school’s mission is to educate and to prepare its students for the future in the Roman Catholic tradition.
“We are particularly pleased to welcome Tom to Brooklyn and to Bishop Ford,” said Brother Thomas Barton, director of Campus Ministry. “With his rich experience and strengths in strategic planning, professional development, evaluation and supervision, he was the perfect choice to shepherd Bishop Ford into a new chapter of its storied history,” he said.
Arria has 39 years teaching experience at the high school level and 12 years as a principal and headmaster. He has guided a number of high schools, including Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, Stoneham High School, Cathedral High School, and Malden Catholic High School, all located in Massachusetts.
Arria was born and raised in Somerville, a suburb of Boston. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in education from Boston State College. He also has a certificate of advanced educational studies from Boston College.
Davis is a longtime civic leader in southern Brooklyn. He currently serves as senior vice president for corporate services at Lutheran HealthCare, the firm that runs Lutheran Medical Center, a hospital in Sunset Park.
With more 35 years of involvement in community and civic leadership, Davis has been the recipient of numerous awards from a wide range of organizations including the City Council, the State Assembly and Senate, the Police and Fire departments, and the mayor’s office.
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Davis was selected by the Giuliani Administration to help operate the city’s Family Assistance Center at Pier 94. In December 2001, he was appointed an honorary deputy fire commissioner. He was named man of the year by the FDNY’s Holy Name Society in 2013. He is also a lifetime member and former president of the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO).
Davis was born and raised in Bay Ridge and educated at Our Lady of Angels School, Bishop Ford (class of 1967), St. Francis College and Wagner College. Davis, a former Franciscan brother, and was a teacher at OLA and Bishop Ford. In 2010, he was inducted into the Bishop Ford Hall of Fame.
For more information on Bishop Ford High School, visit http://www.bishopfordhs.org/.