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Merrimack Valley

July 6, 2013

Lawrence Catholic Academy gets first lay principal

LAWRENCE — Jorge Hernandez was the first in his family to graduate from college and he is paying back the sacrifice his immigrant parents made by teaching children the importance of education.

Hernandez is the new principal of Lawrence Catholic Academy. He started the post on July 1. He replaces Sister Lucy Veilleux who took a new position in New Hampshire.

The Rev. Paul B. O’Brien, chairperson of the Board of Trustees at Lawrence Catholic Academy had high praises for Hernandez.

“Given his deep faith in Christ, his personal history, his membership in the Lawrence community, his involvement in LCA since its opening, and his very strong personal and professional gifts, Jorge Hernandez is a remarkable blessing for the strengthening and growth of our school,” O’Brien said in a statement.

Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education of the Archdiocese of Boston and a trustee at Lawrence Catholic Academy, said in a statement she was “delighted to welcome” Hernandez as principal of the elementary school.

“Jorge is a strong, faith-filled leader whose many gifts and talents will be real assets to the Church and to the school and its faculty, staff, students, parents and the entire community,” Grassa O’Neill said in a statement.

Hernandez served on the Lawrence Catholic Academy Board of Trustees before taking the job.

“We wanted to make sure that the work done by Sister Lucy and the board of trustees, continue on an upward trajectory — not just how to teach the kids to be successful students, (but successful) in life,” he said.

Hernandez is the first lay person and first Hispanic to lead Lawrence Catholic Academy, which was founded in 2010 after the consolidation of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Patrick schools. The school has five religious women and 23 lay teachers. In addition to math, science and English, the school offers art club, swimming, volleyball, basketball, Go Green Club, choir and chess club.

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