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Meet Our President

The Diocese of Paterson Names New President of the Catholic Academy of Sussex County

Pope John High School, Pope John Middle School, and Reverend Brown Memorial School are proud to announce that Father Walter E. Jenkins, C.S.C, EdD has been named the new president of the Catholic Academy of Sussex County by the Diocese of Paterson.

Born and raised in Binghamton, NY Father Jenkins was given a strong emphasis on faith through his enrollment in Catholic schools. Later in life he earned his BA in Government from King’s College. During his time at King’s College he first met the with Holy Cross priests and brothers who ministered at the college. “I met a group that was deeply dedicated to educating young people in a context of faith. Given my family upbringing in Catholic schools it was natural that I would be attracted to my religious community and their focus on Catholic education,” said Father Jenkins. Once graduating in 1988, he started his service with the Congregation of Holy Cross as a Seminarian at Notre Dame. He would later receive his Master of Divinity at the University of Norte Dame and his EdD in Catholic School Leadership at the University of San Francisco.

Through his service with the Congregation of Holy Cross Father Jenkins values collaboration between who they minister. “From our founding we’ve valued the lived experience of those around us, their faith, joys, and sorrows.  Placing God at the center of everything allows us to be successful, joyful, and hopeful,” said Father Jenkins. Using these values, Father Jenkins has held several positions within Catholic Education. Some notable positions that he held include Residence Director & Director of Campus Ministry at Stonehill College, Principal at Saint Patrick’s Academy in Binghamton, NY, Principal at Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, NY, Religious Superior at King’s College, and President at Holy Cross High School in Queens, NY.

Father Jenkins succeeds Reverend Monsignor Kieran McHugh as President who retired after over 50 years of service at Pope John High School and the Academy. Building upon on that large wealth of knowledge and experience Father Jenkins knows he must trust his new community for guidance. “I’m convinced that good leaders are great listeners,” said Father Jenkins. “So, I want to speak to and listen to as many people as possible in my first few months. I’ve inherited and have been entrusted with a wonderful community of faith and learning. I’m learning who we are already in my conversations with so many, and then together we decide who we want to be, how we want to grow and change to be better disciples of Jesus. It’s time to begin a planning process that will guide our next ten years as a school community. Strategic planning is about everyone having a voice, everyone having a vested interest in the community.” 

Father Jenkins understands and embraces the value of the Academy’s teachings of being an Honor To The Father. “That motto is our unique way of expressing a universal truth, that our lives on earth should be an act of love for the God who first loved us,” said Father Jenkins. “Our best expression of gratitude for all that we have been given, how we best love God back, is illustrated in the manner in which we live our lives. We are an honor to the Father by how we love one another, how we serve our neighbor, how we welcome the stranger and protect the least among us.” 

During his first days at the Academy Father Jenkins has already met with administrators, faculty, and students. “I’m very excited to be part of this community and to start my new work here in Sussex County,” said Father Jenkins. “That enthusiasm has only grown as I’ve been able to meet our employees, supporters and especially the students.  I can’t wait for the kids to be back on campus and to be able to attend their events.”