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DJO Names Vorbach ‘Head of School’

Joseph E. Vorbach III (photo via Bishop O'Connell High School)Bishop O’Connell High School will no longer have a president. In a shake-up of the Catholic school’s administrative structure, principal Joseph E. Vorbach III has been named “Head of School” for Bishop O’Connell, also known by the acronym DJO.

DJO President Katy Prebble announced in February that she will resign at the end of the school year. Following discussions with diocese officials, current and former DJO board members, parents and faculty, the Arlington Diocese’s Office of Catholic Schools decided to reconfigure Bishop O’Connell’s administrative structure and appoint Vorbach to the newly-created position of “Head of School.”

“I look forward to working in my new position with our Board of Governors, faculty, parents, and students,” Vorbach said in a statement. “Bishop O’Connell High School is a Christ-centered community blessed with exceptionally dedicated administrators, faculty, and staff, and I am excited to lead this outstanding institution into the future.”

Vorbach was a commanding officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and a 1983 graduate of Bishop O’Connell. He holds a doctorate in political science from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His father is Coast Guard Rear Admiral Joseph E. Vorbach.

Bishop O’Connell issued the following press release about Vorbach’s appointment.

Bishop Paul S. Loverde has named Joseph E. Vorbach, PhD, as Head of School for Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School in Arlington. In the newly created position, Vorbach takes on unified leadership of O’Connell after serving as Principal alongside the school’s last two Presidents. He will assume the role upon President Kathleen Ryan Prebble’s departure at the completion of the 2012-13 school term.

“For 55 years, Bishop O’Connell High School has been a faith-filled community of learning, rooted in the Church and a determined tradition of service and excellence,” said Bishop Loverde, spiritual leader of the Diocese of Arlington’s 450,000 Catholics. “I am very pleased to announce Joe Vorbach as the new Head of School. In this new position of leadership, I know Joe will continue O’Connell’s record of excellence, building on the good work begun by Katy Prebble.”

After Prebble announced her planned departure in February, the Arlington Diocese’s Office of Catholic Schools under the leadership of Superintendent Sr. Bernadette McManigal, BVM, conducted a robust discussion with diocesan officials, current and former members of Bishop O’Connell’s Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and parents regarding the future leadership of the school. These discussions led to the selection of Vorbach as Head of School and informed the decision to reconfigure the school’s administrative structure.

“Today’s announcement represents a strong vote of confidence in Joe Vorbach’s service to the school in successive administrations and his leadership in ensuring a first-rate Catholic education for the young men and women of Bishop O’Connell,” said Sr. McManigal. “His commitment to excellence in academics grounded in the Catholic faith is well known to the O’Connell community and provides great assurance for the school’s future health and achievement. Joe keenly understands the school’s mission and challenges; he is well-positioned to build on its successes and to achieve the school’s development and enrollment goals.”

“It has been my honor to be connected to the Bishop O’Connell community since 1979, as a student, as a parent and as an administrator. I am grateful to Bishop Loverde and the Diocese of Arlington for this important mission of service,” said Vorbach. “I look forward to working in my new position with our Board of Governors, faculty, parents, and students. Bishop O’Connell High School is a Christ-centered community blessed with exceptionally dedicated administrators, faculty, and staff, and I am excited to lead this outstanding institution into the future.”

Vorbach has many years of experience as an educator and administrator, including positions as a professor and department chair at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), and, for the past five years, as Bishop O’Connell’s Principal. He holds a doctorate in political science from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also taught and served as Homeland Security Chair at the National Defense University. Prior to beginning graduate studies at Tufts in 1993, Vorbach served aboard two ships in the USCG, including as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Point Stuart. Dr. Vorbach earned his B.S. in Government at the USCGA in 1987 and is a 1983 graduate of Bishop O’Connell.

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