Jacob Conca is a familiar face at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, graduating from there in 1994, then pursuing an education career that included being Xaverian’s dean of students from 2003 to 2007.
Effective July 1, Conca, 40, will be Xaverian’s new principal, taking over for the retiring Domenic Lalli. The third time at the school will be a definite charm, he said.
“Any opportunity I have to go back to my alma mater, especially to serve in this capacity, is exciting,” said Conca, currently principal of St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury. “I still have wonderful friendships from my time there; I’m active in its alumni association and am on the board of trustees. When this opportunity came up, I was very excited to take it.”
Conca says he was “the only guy from my hometown” of Attleboro to attend Xaverian, with most students going to private school opting for nearby Bishop Feehan. After he graduated, he went to Amherst College, and then Providence College for his master’s degree in education, and Boston College for his Ph.D.
He pointed to recent improvements at Xaverian as another draw to return, including a new scholastic and wellness center, improved athletic fields, and a new academic wing with two advanced science labs, all supported in part by a capital improvement campaign that to date has raised nearly all of its $20 million goal.
“Xaverian was a great school to begin with, but it’s getting better every day,” Conca said.
When word got out about his appointment, Conca said he was contacted by several Xaverian staffers, including Charles Stevenson, the athletic director and head football coach.
“He’s a great guy, and when I was there as a student, it was his first year as head coach and I was one of his captains,” Conca said.
He points to many Xaverian teachers who were role models, including English teacher Eileen Schofield, whom Conca said “was hugely important to my growth as a student.”
Conca said he sees his four years as a Xaverian student “as a gift, and now I’ll go back to repay that gift I was given.”Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.