NORTH CANTON Daniel A. Gravo is a true product of a Catholic Education and, as such, he’ll have plenty of experience to draw from as he begins his new leadership role as president of Central Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas high schools.
Gravo, who was introduced last week at Walsh University, was a student of a Catholic school starting in elementary school all the way through to earning his graduate degree in education from Walsh. Gravo continued his association with Catholic education as part of his 20-year career working in faith-based educational institutions.
He and his wife, Jill, have two children, McKenna and Jackson, both who attend St. Paul’s Catholic School in North Canton. Gravo will be working closely with the newly appointed board of directors that will now begin governing Central Catholic and St. Thomas Aquinas and starting next year, the Holy Cross Academy schools.
"We will work together to continue to grow Catholic education in Stark County," Gravo said. "Our goal is to restructure the administrative teams, increase enrollment and build financial resources for the Catholic schools in this county."
Having one board for all three educational entities is a new model. Central Catholic (with 315 students 9-12), St. Thomas Aquinas (with 258 students 6-12) and Holy Cross schools (10 schools with 1,663 pre-kindergarten through 8th grade) will be governed by the new, 16-member Stark County Catholic Schools Board of Directors.
Board Chairman John Sirpilla was clear about what the mission is and isn’t for the new board.
"I want to make it clear, combining the boards into one isn’t about combining the two high schools, it’s about sharing resources," Sirpilla said. "We are all about working together to show our kids what faith-based education is and to make our system stronger."
Sirpilla took time to recognize the leadership of Father Robert Kaylor of Central Catholic and Father Thomas Dyer of St. Thomas Aquinas. He said the new team is honored to continue the legacy that they, their boards and their teams have given to the Stark County Catholic education community.
Board member Anthony Olivieri III added, "The mission will remain the same which is to increase enrollment and build financial resources, the only change now is that we have one governing board to lead the way."
More About Daniel A. Gravo
Gravo worked 12 years at Walsh University as the director of compliance and eligibility. He was also a coach and the assistant athletic director. While working at Walsh, he was named the 2005-06 National Football Foundation Northeastern Ohio Chapter College Assistant Coach of the Year. In 2007, he moved to the Walsh Advancement Office, as the director of alumni relations, where he led programming and engagement for more than 12,000 alumni across the globe.
In 2013, Gravo moved to the Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC), a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, which is focused on the healthy development of young children by improving the quality of their early education and care. At the ECRC, he was the director of development, leading the organization's fundraising initiatives and meeting their yearly development goals.
Gravo returned to higher education in 2015, as director of major gifts and intercollegiate athletics at Malone University. His accomplishments there include securing major gifts from a variety of sources, growing the sponsorship program, and building strong relationships with donors, alumni, and friends of the university.
He has a Master of Arts in Education from Walsh University, a Bachelor of Arts in History from John Carroll University, is a 1991 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and attended Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Canton.