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Published: Wednesday, 11/21/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

Central Catholic hires new school president

Thomas Maj. Thomas Maj.

Central Catholic High School’s board of directors has appointed a new permanent president for the Toledo school.

Thomas Maj, 53, will take the school’s helm on Feb. 1, replacing Joe Herman, who since June has been interim chief executive officer of the school, which has about 1,000 students.

The Rev. Dennis Hartigan, who was Central’s president before Mr. Herman’s appointment, will continue in his position as pastoral leader of the school under an administrative reorganization plan.

Mr. Maj is currently president of Catholic Central and West Catholic High Schools of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Mich., a position he has held since 2010. Before that, he was a principal, assistant principal, and teacher for schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Born and raised Catholic, Mr. Maj said the opportunity to continue in Catholic education was too good to pass up.

“It's not just a job for me,” he said, “it’s a vocation.”

Michael Hanley, chairman of Central’s board of directors, said Mr. Maj has a reputation for reaching outside the school and building relationships in the community.

He also noted Mr. Maj’s experience of simultaneously heading two Catholic schools.

“[Mr. Maj] brings significant leadership experience,” Mr. Hanley said, “The strategy work and the development work that he did in Grand Rapids was well aligned with where we want to go with Central Catholic.”

Mr. Maj is the first layman to be Central’s president.

Mr. Hanley said the decision to appoint a layman was a conscious one by board members, who wanted to create defined and separate pastoral and administrative positions in the school.

Neither Mr. Hanley nor Mr. Maj said there were any expectations for the new president to initiate major transformations at Central Catholic.

Mr. Maj said he plans to work collaboratively within the school, diocese, and community.

Mr. Maj is married and has a daughter who is a senior in high school. His wife — who is a school teacher in Grand Rapids — and daughter will finish the school year before moving to Toledo.

The Diocese of Toledo chancellor, the Rev. Monte J. Hoyles, speaking on behalf of Bishop Leonard Blair, said in a statement that Mr. Maj had “superior recommendations” from the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

“We are very pleased to have him join the diocese in this important work of forming the next generation of successful students at Central Catholic,” he said.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086.

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