WILMINGTON — John Petruzzelli, a former teacher, coach and administrator at St. Elizabeth High School, will return to Wilmington in July as the principal of the school. This will be his third stint at St. Elizabeth.
Petruzzelli has been the principal of Kolbe Academy since 2018. Kolbe is a high school for students in recovery from alcohol and substance addiction. Its doors opened in 2019, and Petruzzelli was involved in all aspects of the school, including Catholic identity, academics, finance, admission, facilities and more. Before that, he spent a year as principal of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia and seven years at Bethlehem Catholic High School in the Lehigh Valley.
He began his career at St. Elizabeth as a history teacher from 1993-98, and he also coached baseball and track. In addition, Petruzzelli was the moderator of the Student Leadership Group and coordinated Catholic Schools Week activities. He joined St. Joe’s Prep in 1998 and was the dean of students for four years, then became director of the Ignatian Service Program in 2002.
Petruzzelli returned to St. Elizabeth in 2004 as the director of admissions and of campus ministry. He was later promoted to assistant principal, a role he held from 2006-10 while still overseeing the admissions office. His responsibilities included Middle States reaccreditation, strategic planning and teacher mentoring, and he also taught history. He also founded the “Project Spain” student-exchange program.