BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — After working together for the past six years at Salesianum School, Dominic Maiorano and Michael Reichert have both moved on to their alma mater, St. Edmond’s Academy, where they have become the headmaster and principal, respectively. They weren’t intended as a package deal, but the pair have been connected for more than 25 years at this point.
Maiorano graduated from St. Edmond’s in 1997, and Reichert followed a year later. They didn’t attend the same high school, but Reichert was a student at Archmere Academy with Maiorano’s wife while the latter was at Salesianum School. Both graduated from the University of Delaware.
While Reichert went directly into education, Maiorano took a more circuitous route. He spent 13 years as a police officer in Newport before an opportunity presented itself at Salesianum to be the alumni director.
“That opportunity opened up, and I had a young family, so I thought let’s give this a whirl. Got right into relationship building, constituency, event planning,” Maiorano said.
After three years in that role, he became the dean of students for four years. Last year, he was the director of development, so he had the chance to see both the academic and operational side of education.
He found it hard to stay away from St. Edmond’s when approached. His time there has shaped his life, he said. The Holy Cross Brothers, who founded the school and staffed it for decades, helped his parents get him and his brother through. His father was a plumber and did work on the campus, and his mother “was volunteer extraordinaire. The brothers did a lot to make it possible for my brother and I to attend, and coming back here makes it easier for me. I feel like I owe the brothers.”
He knows he doesn’t have the traditional educational background, but he is confident that he will be able to handle the operational side of St. Edmond’s while leaving the academics to Reichert and his team.
“When I look at my role and Mike’s role, my role is the outward face of the school,” he said. “Rebuilding the alumni network, connections, making sure that the Holy Cross traditions, all that stuff, is supported.”
Reichert always had an interest in teaching, pursuing a master’s in secondary social studies education from Penn after graduating from Delaware. He was able to return to St. Edmond’s for his first teaching job, replacing longtime St. Edmond’s teacher Ken Chew upon his retirement. He stayed for nine years, coaching lacrosse and soccer as well as teaching.
At Salesianum, he was the director of technology and instruction, which allowed him to teach, write curriculum and integrate technology into his work. He has a doctorate in this area. He is eager to tackle the challenges that the school faces.
“I couldn’t pass this opportunity up,” he said. “To come back to a community I loved, that was formative in my schooling, in my family’s schooling.”
His father attended the academy, as did four of his uncles. “We knew St. Edmond’s from long, long ago. Such a formative, fun, caring community that I experienced again as an employee here.
“I want to focus on curriculum, programming, evolving that programming to best meet the needs of the current student population.”
Neither Maiorano nor Reichert are worried about making the transition from high school to elementary school. Reichert has that teaching experience, and he also has two young children. Maiorano’s three children are school-aged. He said it was more difficult leaving law enforcement to deal with high school students.
The pair worked together at Salesianum, and they expect to do the same at St. Edmond’s. So much so that their offices are next to each other. They’ve been meeting with teachers over the summer getting ready for this year.
Their mission is to ensure that young boys in the area have the same opportunity as them to experience St. Edmond’s and the charism of the Holy Cross Brothers.
“I want to see the boys when they leave here go to the top-notch schools they want to go to, but just as important to me is the experience that they have here, the young men they become,” Maiorano said.