Thomas W. Carroll, one of the most prominent Catholic education leaders in the U.S., will be stepping down as superintendent of Boston archdiocesan schools at the end of the 2023-2024 school year, the archdiocese announced Tuesday.

Carroll has served as superintendent since April 2019. His last day on the job will be June 30, 2024.

“I am proud of what we achieved together. We addressed some significant challenges over the last four years. I have enjoyed working with a great team in the Catholic Schools Office and look forward to the start of the upcoming school year,” Carroll said in a statement. 

In a statement, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap, the archbishop of Boston, thanked Carroll for his leadership.

“He helped navigate our Catholic schools through the COVID crisis, stabilized our enrollment after generations of decline, worked to enhance the Catholic identity of our schools and recruited faithful and smart students from across the country to teach in our schools,” the cardinal said. 

Thomas W. Carroll will step down as the superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Boston at the end of the 2023-24 school year. Credit: Archdiocese of Boston
Thomas W. Carroll will step down as the superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Boston at the end of the 2023-24 school year. Credit: Archdiocese of Boston

A search for Carroll’s replacement will begin immediately, the archdiocese said. There are 100 Catholic schools in the Boston Archdiocese with 31,000 students. 

Carroll, a Catholic convert, led the school system through the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the shutdown of many schools across the nation.

Carroll, however, made every effort to offer in-person learning to Catholic school students, which was controversial at the time but brought thousands of students into the Catholic school system.

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“The decision by many public schools not to reopen in the fall of 2020, after the initial pandemic lockdown, was a tragic mistake,” Carroll said earlier this month in an interview with the National Catholic Register, CNA’s partner news outlet. “It will result in a generation of bad consequences for the children in those schools.” You can hear Carroll discussing his decision with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo in the video below.

A noted thought leader in Catholic education circles, Carroll in the fall of 2021 opened Lumen Verum (Latin for “True Light”) Academy, which offered a hybrid of in-person and online learning for students. The school, however, closed this June as a result of low enrollment, Carroll told the archdiocese’s newspaper, the Boston Pilot.

“I’ve founded over a dozen schools over time, so it’s not the first time I’ve tried something different and novel,” Carroll told the Register. 

“I hope it doesn’t lead people to the “wrong” lesson from this — the conclusion that we shouldn’t take risks,” he said of the school’s closing. “I think the Catholic Church has been too cautious in how it runs its schools. They should try lots of different things to see what works and what doesn’t work.” 

Caroll also led an initiative called the St. Thomas More Teaching Fellowship, a formation program for new teacher candidates in the archdiocese whom he personally recruited during visits to colleges throughout the U.S.

Before coming to Boston, Carroll led an education policy organization called the Invest in Education Foundation, which is based in New York. He also founded and led another New York-based education policy nonprofit called the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability.

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While in New York, Carroll, who holds a master of arts degree and bachelor of arts degree from the University of Albany, served as then-New York Gov. George Pataki’s deputy director for regulatory reform.

Carroll was not available for comment Tuesday. “It has been a privilege and honor to serve the Church and Cardinal O’Malley,” Carroll said in an online post Tuesday. “I will continue to do so through June 2024. My wife and I look forward to considering next steps.”