Thomas E. Nunan, Jr.

The first President of Bishop Fenwick effective July 1, 2019

Tom Headshot

Members and Friends of the St. Mary's Community

We, the Fenwick Board of Trustees, St. Mary's partner school, are thrilled to announce that Thomas E. Nunan, Jr. has been appointed our first president effective July 1, 2019.

This appointment is the first step in the adoption of the President-Principal administration model whereby executive functions are aligned around two distinct leadership profiles: the outward-facing entrepreneur and institution-builder (President), and the inward-facing academician and champion of teaching, learning, and best practice (Principal).

Mr. Nunan will ensure academic excellence at Fenwick and St. Mary's as both schools continue to educate the whole student.

Mr. Nunan's Biography

Thomas E. Nunan, Jr. is a trusted, inspirational leader with a strategic focus. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy (Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.Ed. in Religious Education from Boston College. Mr. Nunan has also completed the Lynch Leadership Academy and the Emmaus Program, both at Boston College.

Mr. Nunan has been a leader in Catholic secondary education for over 30 years, most recently as the founding Head of School at Saint Joseph Preparatory High School in Boston, MA. At Saint Joseph Prep, his accomplishments include integrating two separate, struggling school communities; recruiting and developing an exemplary 50-person educational team; overseeing two major renovation projects, each over $3 million; implementing a new, merged curriculum accompanied by a variety of technology initiatives; launching a new admission and marketing/branding campaign; and working with students, families, and faculty/staff to envision new future for Catholic education in Boston.

Mr. Nunan’s advancement and fundraising efforts at SJP resulted in a $500K grant from the Yawkey Foundations, a $750K grant from the Lynch Foundation, and a similar matching grant from the Sisters of St. Joseph to create a multi-purpose Learning Commons, multiple STEAM-related Labs, and a host of facility upgrades.

Mr. Nunan possesses a relentless commitment to academic excellence as shown through the development of a broad-ranging, student-centered curriculum that includes Freshman Writing, STEAM offerings, an Engineering Certificate, an Academic Enrichment Center (with layers of academic support), and over a dozen AP courses.

Prior to his time as Head of School at SJP, Mr. Nunan spent a year as a novice in the Society of Jesus of New England. After leaving the Jesuit novitiate, Mr. Nunan began a 27-year career at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, MA.  There his roles included Chair, Theology Department; Director, Senior Service Program; Director, New Orleans Service Program; Coordinator, NEASC Self-Study (for two accreditations); member of myriad school committees and projects; and coach at a variety of levels for soccer, hockey, and tennis.

Mr. Nunan’s commitment to Catholic education extends beyond his experience in schools. He was a member of the Religious Education Task Force established by Cardinal Sean O’Malley to examine religious education in parishes and schools. He was also a Board Member of Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, the first school sponsored by the 2010 Initiative, and he served on the School Improvement Team for Bishop Feehan High School.

Additionally, Mr. Nunan was coordinator and primary liaison between Boston College and the Conway Family for the Kevin J. Conway Scholarship Fund, Boston College. He has served as Board Chair of the Triboro Youth Theatre and was an active member of the Parish Council, the Leadership Team, and the Founding Task Force as St. Stephen’s Parish and St. Mary’s Parish merged to become Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Attleboro/Seekonk.

Mr. Nunan grew up in Chicago and attended high school in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Nancy, recently celebrated 30 years of marriage, and share two grown children, Thomas, 26, Ph.D. student at Boston University (via Harvard); Alexandra, 23, second-year volunteer/intern at Cristo Rey High School, East Harlem, NY (via Boston College).  He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, and is interested in philosophy, theology, poetry, running, golf, and home improvement projects.

Presentations and Achievements

  • Chair, MIAA District H; Chair of District H Athletic Committee and primary liaison with Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) for all 24 schools (mostly Catholic, including Fenwick) in District H; July, 2016 to present
  • Committee Member, Boston Opportunity Agenda; task force to examine and define “college and career readiness” across district, charter, and Catholic schools in Boston; November, 2016 to present
  • Co-Presenter for Emmaus Leadership Program, Boston College; Board and Chief Executive: Effective Partnership; for school leaders and board members; September, 2018
  • Sole Facilitator for Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY, Living the Charism; for school leaders and administrators in CSJ Brentwood network of schools; September, 2018
  • Lead Presenter for Sisters of St. Joseph Spirits on Fire; program of professional development and charism immersion for faculty, staff, and administration of CSJ ministries; February, 2018 and June, 2019
  • Recognition from New England Association of Schools and Colleges, coordinating a Self-study
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Annual Conference, workshop presenter
  • New Orleans City Council Award for New Orleans Service Trip Program
  • Parents of Independent Schools Service Award, three years running, for New Orleans Service Trip Program
  • Joseph MacDonald Award for exemplary service to St. Sebastian’s School
  • Headmaster’s Medal for teaching theology and directing Senior Service
  • Founders’ Award for leadership of Triboro Youth Theatre
  • Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit National Honor Society
  • PULSE Council Member, Coordinator of BC student service organization
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