Cheverus High School in Portland names next president

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PORTLAND — The Rev. George E. Collins has been selected as Cheverus High School’s 19th president.

Collins currently serves as the director of campus ministry at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He will succeed the Rev. William R. Campbell, who will become vice president for mission at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, this summer.

Collins, who taught theology at Cheverus from 2005-2007, will begin his tenure July 1.

“Father Collins is an inspired choice as our next leader,” Richard Petersen, chairman of the Cheverus board of trustees, said in a press release last week. “He is no stranger to Cheverus. … He has a unique combination of management experience and a profound commitment to Jesuit ideals.”

A search committee, chaired by long-time Cheverus trustee Ed Haley, conducted a national search for a new president. In the press release, Haley said the committee “wanted someone who could lead this school’s next generation of men and women for others and foster the work of our talented faculty and staff. We are blessed to have found that leader, and I welcome Father Collins back to Cheverus.”

Collins, a native of Boston, received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Boston College and began his career at the Boston Edison Co. He retired from Boston Edison in 1998 as a process/planning supervisor. He holds a contract administration certificate from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and a construction inspection certificate from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He returned to Boston College and earned a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry in 2000, the same year that he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

In 2001, Collins’ career as an educator began at the Latin-Rite Secondary School in Amman, Jordan, where he taught English. He also holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago, a Master of Theological Studies, a Master of Theology, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, with a concentration in Christian Spirituality, from Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology.

Collins was ordained in June 2010. After completing his studies in 2011, he joined Fairfield University as the coordinator of Mission & Identity. He took over the director of campus ministry position in the fall of 2012.

“Cheverus High School was a privileged time and place for me in my own Jesuit formation when I taught there from 2005-2007,” Collins said in the press release. “… Returning to Cheverus, this time as its 19th president, is a great privilege. I look forward to working with a dedicated and talented group of administrators, faculty, and staff in providing an excellent and well-rounded Jesuit Education to the young women and men entrusted to our care.”

Cheverus High School is an independent, co-educational college preparatory school conducted by the Jesuits. It was founded in 1917 and currently enrolls more than 450 students.

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Cheverus broadens international exchange program

PORTLAND — Cheverus High School, which already has an exchange program that brings students from around the world to the 267 Ocean Ave. school, has established a new partnership to bring more students from China to the school and local host families.

The partnership, with Waltham, Mass.-based GP Homestay, is expected to kick off this fall. GP Homestay outreach specialist David Brown said Cheverus is the first school in Maine is has partnered with.

“We got out first approved host family (on March 11). We’re trying to spread our feelers out to Portland community and see if we can find host families,” Brown said.

Brown said the organization, founded in 2012, usually sees an influx of applicants in May and June. He said students in all four high school grades generally apply through their national programs.

“Usually (the students) are here for the whole year, and they tend to continue high school education if it goes well,” Brown said. “Host families can sign up for just a semester, but they generally love it and do the whole year.”

Ruth Summers, director of admissions at Cheverus, said Cheverus has worked with other schools for the past six years to bring students from China, Korea, Afghanistan, Germany and Spain to the school for anywhere from one to four years.

She said Cheverus typically hosts between 20 and 25 international students every year.

Summers said the school has never worked with GP Homestay before, but is doing so to continue to build its international program.

Brown said the plan is for seven students from China to arrive in August, although she was not sure if they will actually bring seven. She said one student has applied so far.

“We try to have more than enough,” she said. “We shoot for 150 percent of host families per student population, but sometimes we can only get as many as we need.”

Host families receive a monthly stipend of $850. If not enough host families sign up, Brown said GP Homestay provides respite care through hotels or their own employees until hosts can be found.

— Colin Ellis

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