Ryan Corcoran named principal of Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School

Published on June 8, 2021
Ryan Corcoran

Reverend James Chelich, pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle parish in Grand Rapids, is pleased to announce Mr. Ryan Corcoran as school principal, starting July 1.

“Ryan comes to us with considerable talents and a heart for the Catholic faith,” said Father Chelich. “His service as assistant principal of Saint Thomas Catholic School has demonstrated his confidence as an educational leader. We are very blessed.”

Mr. Corcoran was selected with a unanimous recommendation from the search committee consisting of teachers, parents, the retiring principal, and school board members. He most recently served as assistant principal at Saint Thomas for one year. Prior to that, he taught English and theology and coordinated the international student program at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids. He is trilingual, speaking Spanish and Chinese in addition to English. Mr. Corcoran has previously taught in university, high school, kindergarten and preschool classrooms in China; elementary and high schools in Spain; and online adult education for students from around the world. He also has experience teaching special education.

Mr. Corcoran holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy with a minor in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, a  master’s degree in teaching from Universidad de Alcalá in Spain and a master’s of science in educational leadership from Creighton University in Nebraska.

“I am so honored to have been chosen to lead Saint Thomas School into its next chapter,” said Mr. Corcoran. “I am blessed beyond belief to be moving into this ministry, having been mentored by retiring principal Suzi Furtwangler and Father Jim for the last year. I am serving a staff that is driven to be excellent and a community that cares for one another.”

Mr. Corcoran becomes principal following the retirement of Mrs. Suzi Furtwangler, who has served Saint Thomas for 19 years, first as a teacher for seven years, then as assistant principal for a year, followed by 11 years as principal.

Saint Thomas the Apostle School is located near Wilcox Park on the southeast side of Grand Rapids, faithfully serving more than 340 students from preschool through 8th grade. “Faith is first” permeates and propels academics and extra-curriculars, producing compassionate future leaders in our world. “We place Christ at the center of our children's education. We include prayer, worship, study, and the Sacraments as part of our school day – every school day.” Saint Thomas is currently enrolling for the 2021-22 school year. For more information, visit stthomasgr.org/please-join-us/registration.

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