Marlena Conroy Named President of FSHA

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy board of directors and the congregational leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose have unanimously selected and approved the appointment of Marlena Conroy as the next president of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy to succeed Sr. Carolyn McCormack, O.P., effective July 1.

“Marlena is blessed with a true veritas spirit. She is the future of Catholic all-girls educational leadership … and the future is bright,” said Sarah Sima McCann, ’96, chair, board of directors. Conroy currently serves as the principal at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.

In her role as the first lay leader in Flintridge Sacred Heart’s 93-year history, Conroy brings a passion for Catholic education, particularly the education of young women, and understands the challenges that schools face in today’s world.

“It is with a full and grateful heart that I welcome Marlena Conroy to her new role as president of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. I am confident that the Holy Spirit will guide our transition of leadership here on the Hill. Our best days are yet to come!” said FSHA’s current president Sr. Carolyn McCormack, O.P.

“We congratulate Marlena and welcome her to Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. We look forward to supporting her as she begins this new position and ministry,” said Sr. Celeste Marie Botello, O.P., the congregational prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of incredible Dominican Sisters to serve Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. As a Catholic educator for 23 years, my life’s mission is to provide young women with a well-rounded education that empowers them to be a force for good in the world,” said Conroy.

Conroy has had an extensive career as an educator and educational leader and has served both at the elementary and secondary levels. She began her career working with the national advocacy organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It was in that role that she discovered her passion for working with young people. She transitioned to education with her position as a middle school teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Diego. She also taught at Cathedral Catholic, a private coeducational Catholic college preparatory high school of more than 1,700 students in San Diego, before joining its leadership team as the assistant Dean of Students and then the Dean of Students. From Cathedral Catholic, she went on to serve as the assistant principal of Curriculum and Instruction at Notre Dame Academy, where she worked with the Sisters of the Order of Union-Chrétienne de Saint Chaumond. She then joined Academy of Our Lady of Peace, an all-girls high school of 750 students, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, as assistant principal. In 2021, she returned to Cathedral Catholic as principal.

After a comprehensive national search process, consistent with principles of best practice established by the National Association of Independent Schools, Conroy was unanimously selected by a search committee consisting of representatives from the school community and Dominican Sisters. Her selection was endorsed by the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Board of Directors and approved by the leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

Conroy earned her bachelor’s degree at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo then earned her master’s degree in educational leadership and administration at National University. She has been married for 21 years to her husband Matthew who serves as a battalion chief for the Los Angeles Fire Dept.

Conroy is bilingual and multi-ethnic and is proud to be a first-generation American.