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John Ciccone serving as new president of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

On July 1, 2023, John Ciccone began serving as the fourth president of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School)

John Ciccone began serving as the fourth president of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland on July 1, 2023, succeeding Dr. Paul Barker, who led that school for the past 12 years. Our Lady of Good Counsel is a coeducational Catholic high school sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers. 

A profile of Ciccone in the school’s “The Counselor” magazine noted that he has “an exceptional record as an educational leader at Catholic, independent and charter schools, from early childhood education through high school.”

For the past 14 years, Ciccone served as president of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore. He earlier served as chief administrative officer at Rochambeau, the French International School in Bethesda and as head of school at SEED Public Charter School of Washington, D.C.

When Ciccone was president of St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a capital campaign was launched to move the school to a new campus, and that effort enabled the school to increase its enrollment by 50 percent.

Ciccone was recommended by Our Lady of Good Counsel’s president’s search committee and appointed by its Board of Directors by a unanimous vote.

“I am extraordinarily honored to be selected as Our Lady of Good Counsel High School's next president,” Ciccone said in a statement when his appointment was announced. “I am excited to be part of Good Counsel's strong, vibrant, and inclusive community that clearly lives its mission to inspire students to excel, serve, and love.”

Ciccone earned his undergraduate degree in history and education from Rhode Island College and his master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard. He completed non-profit executive education programs at the Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management as well as the New Heads Institute of the National Association of Independent Schools. He serves as a board member for Innovation Works in Baltimore and Loyola Blakefield in Towson.

In his interview in “The Counselor,” Ciccone expressed appreciation for Our Lady of Good Counsel’s “strong Catholic mission and tradition,” and he noted its educational offerings including its Ryken and STEM programs and its International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes, along with its visual arts and athletics opportunities for students.

A native of Rhode Island, Ciccone graduated from La Salle Academy in Providence, and he began his career teaching history and social studies at Catholic schools in Rhode Island. His first teaching job was at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. 

“I always loved classroom and school life,” said Ciccone, who is now in his 30th year of working in education.

His wife, Amy Ciccone, works as a college counselor at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., and earlier worked at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. They are parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington.

John Ciccone credits his own foundation in Catholic education “for all my success in education and life,” and he expressed appreciation of the impact that Catholic formation has on students.

The veteran educator said the greatest reward in his work has been “seeing the success in students, seeing students grow from their formation in education.” Ciccone, who has kept in touch with many of his former students over the years, said, “You see they’ve grown in ways you’ve had a part in it.”

Our Lady of Good Counsel’s new president enjoys running, swimming, biking, traveling and attending concerts. In his interview in “The Counselor,” he noted, “We’ve seen everyone from Taylor Swift to Billy Joel to Lizzo to U2.”

That profile noted another of Ciccone’s accomplishments – starting in his late 40s, he learned to speak, read, write and understand Spanish.