Cape Cod Catholic schools announce new leadership for 2023-24
BARNSTABLE — Phillip J. VanDenBrink has been selected to become the next President of St. John Paul II School located in Hyannis. VanDenBrink comes to JPII from Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, where he currently holds multiple roles as the Associate Director of Admissions, the Director of University Foundations, and a teacher. Prior to Wasatch, VanDenBrink was Principal at Great Falls Central Catholic High School in Great Falls, Mont.
In addition, he has served in leadership positions at Leysin American School in Switzerland and at Beijing National Day School in China. Throughout his 19 years of experience in education, VanDenBrink has worked to create new programs, develop new partnerships to enhance education, and increase enrollment to ensure the overall health and quality of programs while focusing on the student experience as the center of programmatic initiatives.
VanDenBrink received his undergraduate degree in International Business and German, with a minor in French, from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He holds master’s degrees in education and educational leadership from Middlebury College and the University of Cincinnati, respectively. In 2016, VanDenBrink earned a certificate in catechesis from the University of Dayton. A Michigan native, he is excited to enter into the next chapter of his career at St. John Paul II, where he can focus his energy on leading the school toward a bright future.
“From the moment I heard about St. John Paul II School, I could feel that the community ‘communicates Christ in word and deed,’” commented VanDenBrink. “The excitement of the students and other community members inspires me to lead the school in its next phase of development with ‘care and concern’ of the student at the center of our mission.”
Father John Kelleher, pastor of St. Pius X Parish is also pleased to announce that Jeffrey Kent has been named the next Principal of St. Pius X School in Yarmouth. Kent comes to St. Pius X School with 14 years of experience working in various capacities in Catholic schools, including the last seven as Principal and Assistant Principal at Catholic schools in Florida and Texas. Kent graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University-Portland, where he earned a Masters in Educational Leadership and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Richmond.
Kent currently serves more than 370 students in PreK to eighth grade as the Assistant Principal of St. Theresa Catholic School in Austin, Texas. His areas of oversight include student discipline, academic support services, enrichment activities, and school-wide testing and assessment. Previously, Kent was the Principal at St. Patrick Catholic School in Jacksonville, Fla., where he managed a $2.1 million budget and oversaw a team of 40-plus faculty and staff. He served on The Council of Catholic Academies Board, a committee focused on diocesan-level marketing initiatives which led St. Patrick Catholic School to be named among the “Top 3 Private Schools” and the “Top 3 Places to Work” in Jacksonville’s Bold City Best Contest. Kent also served as Assistant Principal at St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School in Clearwater, Fla., which was recognized as a two-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence (with standardized test scores in top 15 percent nationally). In each Catholic administrative role, Kent has led professional development opportunities in areas such as school-wide culture, classroom management, curriculum and assessment, and technology integration.
Kent is a native New Englander with strong ties to Cape Cod; thus, he is very excited to return “home” and to join the St. Pius X Parish, in addition to leading the school. He impressed the search committee with his qualifications, faith, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm for Catholic education, and his insightful and energetic approach to all topics of discussion.
“I look forward to returning to Massachusetts to lead St. Pius X School and am grateful and humbled to serve as its next Principal, Kent said. “I value how thoughtful and intentional the search committee was from start to finish. I intend to lead by focusing on people, process, and product and will use a collaborative and servant leadership approach in which our faculty and staff are invested in a philosophy of caring, challenging, and communicating to enable our students to be the best version of themselves and of Christ.”
“We are thrilled that Mr. Kent will be joining us to build upon the excellence of St. Pius X School,” said Father John Kelleher, Pastor of St. Pius X Parish and School. “We are very proud of the outstanding academic achievements of our students to-date and Mr. Kent has impressed me as a leader who has the academic qualifications, management experience, and interpersonal skills to take St. Pius X School to even greater success.”