Upon receiving word that Xaverian’s Headmaster, Brother Daniel Skala, C.F.X., Ph.D., was elected General Superior of the Congregation of St. Francis Xavier this August, John Murphy ’70, P ’03, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced that the Board would undertake their most important responsibility, that of selecting a new headmaster. In a message to the Xaverian community he wrote, “The Board of Trustees has remained committed to a sustainable leadership structure for the school, one that can withstand change. As such, a succession plan was already in place.” He added, “We are blessed that with strong leadership, the dedication of our talented faculty and staff, and the support of our alumni and parents, Xaverian remains well-positioned for a bright future.”
A Board Committee was assembled to facilitate the transition process and input was solicited from faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and parents. On October 28, the full Board of Trustees gathered and formally interviewed Dr. Conca for the position. After which, they unanimously voted to appoint him as Xaverian’s new Headmaster, effective November 12, 2019.
Dr. Conca has served alongside Brother Dan as Principal for the past three years, after eight years as principal at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, another Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School. Prior to Saint John’s, he served as dean of students at Xaverian under former principal, Mr. Domenic Lalli, P ’98. He is a graduate of Amherst College with an M.Ed. from Providence College and a Ph.D. from Boston College. He and Brother Dan began their Xaverian Brothers High School stories together in the fall of 1990, Dr. Conca as a freshman and Brother Dan as an administrator. In an announcement to the Xaverian community, John Murphy notes that, “It seems fitting, after nearly three decades of demonstrated commitment to all aspects of Xaverian, that Dr. Conca is now uniquely suited to follow Brother Dan as Xaverian’s next Headmaster.” Additionally, Brother Dan offered his gratitude and celebrated Dr. Conca’s appointment:
Serving at Xaverian Brothers High School for the past 29 years has been a tremendous blessing. I have worked with so many brilliant people who have made Xaverian’s accomplishments possible. Through the years, Xaverian has become an important part of me and I have been given so much joy. I thank all of you for your steadfast loyalty and support of Xaverian. It has sustained me.
I am confident that Xaverian will continue to thrive under the leadership of our new headmaster, Dr. Jacob Conca ’94. How could I have imagined when I met 14-year-old Jacob that he would one day follow in my footsteps? And yet both Domenic Lalli, veteran principal, and I noticed his uncommon qualities early on. His passion as a student and athlete, as well as his commitment to Xaverian ideals, set him apart as a genuine leader. He is well suited to be the next headmaster of our beloved Xaverian. He understands the demands of leadership, supports our mission in its many dimensions, has excelled as the principal, and has been my full partner in whatever I tried to accomplish as headmaster. He is a tremendously talented leader whose care and compassion for all students, staff, and faculty are well known...As we begin a new chapter, let us be grateful for the legacy of strong leadership through the years. With Jacob’s leadership, everything that we value about our school will be preserved and enhanced.
Brother Dan will now serve as leader of the Xaverian Brothers global mission and ministry. In this role as General Superior, he heads the community of consecrated laymen in their work in the US (including 13 Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools), Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Belgium, and the UK.
His tenure at Xaverian has been marked by exceptional innovation, achievement, and growth. As Headmaster, Brother Dan was committed to excellence in all areas of school life with a renowned emphasis on Xaverian's unique mission, rooted in the tradition of the Xaverian Brothers. Major construction and renovation of facilities as well as investments in the school's academic, athletic, fine and performing arts, campus ministry programs, and Francis Xavier Division for seventh and eighth grade students, have helped Xaverian earn a reputation as a premier Catholic school for boys.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to build on Brother Dan’s incredible legacy of visionary leadership,” said Dr. Conca. “Like many others whom Brother has mentored, I have learned so much in my eight years working with him. I am grateful for his support and friendship. Together with our faculty, staff, and loyal alumni, I look forward to continuing on as our next headmaster, grounded in the Xaverian values, guided by mission, and always with our young men as my first priority.”
In addition to his work at Xaverian, Dr. Conca serves on the Board of Directors at Xavier High School in Middletown, CT. He resides with his wife and three daughters in Medway. Dr. Conca has announced plans to have a new principal in place by December 1.
“Since opening our doors in 1963, Xaverian Brothers High School has marched steadily on, guided by our values of humility, simplicity, compassion, trust, and zeal,” said Dr. Conca. “Fifty-six years later, Xaverian stands proudly as a leader in all-boys, Catholic education. With the support of our dedicated and talented community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and the Board, we will ensure that Xaverian continues in its prominence for generations to come.”