La Salle College High School President, Brother Richard Kestler, FSC, ’60 has announced that Michael A. O’Toole ’68 will assume the position of Principal on July 1, 2012, succeeding Joseph L. Marchese, who will be stepping down at the end of the academic year due to health reasons. O’Toole will become the school’s tenth principal. The Board of Trustees has concurred and ratified this appointment.
“I am grateful to have a man of such caliber join our administrative team,” says Brother Richard Kestler.
The decision concludes a six-month nationwide search that was headed by Benjamin J. Ventresca, Chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, who directed a committee comprised of faculty, staff, trustees, current parents, and alumni.
“I am very appreciative of the efforts of the committee and commend them on the process. Dozens of well-qualified individuals applied for the position and I feel confident that they selected the best person to lead our school,” says Brother Richard Kestler.
Michael O’Toole is an educator with more than three decades of professional experience who currently serves as Principal of Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, PA. He became Principal in 2005 and, in addition to overseeing school operations, is the academic leader of the all-boys college preparatory school. O’Toole is responsible for multiple initiatives in areas of the curriculum along with initiatives in diversity and parent communications.
Prior to joining Holy Ghost Prep, O’Toole spent thirty-one years as an administrator and teacher at La Salle College High School. He served as Vice President from 2000-2005, where he was responsible for oversight of school communications, admissions, financial aid, and diversity programs. He taught English at the school from 1974-2005, serving as the Department Chair for eight years. He also directed summer programs, academic technology, and writing programs and served as Chairman of the Steering Committee for the school’s Middle States Accreditation Review in 1996.
O’Toole is a 1968 graduate of La Salle College High School. He holds both an A.B. and M.A. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Klingenstein Fellow in Independent School Leadership at Teachers College of Columbia University, where he also received a Masters degree in Education. Additionally, he participated in the inaugural Lasallian Social Justice Institute in the Southwest U.S. in 2004.
His professional experience includes twenty-five years as a lecturer and instructor at Pennsylvania State University Abington and Temple University. He has served as a teacher in the Gifted Program at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a reader for the SAT Writing Program. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Face to Face, Inc., a human services organization located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia that provides meals, nurse-managed health care, legal and social services, computer training, creative arts studios, and children’s programming.
O’Toole is a native of Philadelphia and currently lives in Elkins Park with his wife of thirty-five years, Mary Louise Castaldi. He has two children – Lara and Dan, a 2005 graduate of La Salle College High School.
Michael O’Toole is ready to come back to La Salle. “I am honored to rejoin the community of teachers, students, parents, and alumni at one of the best college prep schools anywhere – La Salle College High School. The opportunity to serve as Principal of a school which has meant so much to me is both humbling and gratifying. During the past seven years, I have learned much from the extraordinary excellence and global vision of Holy Ghost Prep and now eagerly look to return to my alma mater, La Salle.”