$5.5 Million Gift to Transform the Paradigm of Catholic Education

August 7, 2018 | Foundations in Education | Media Mentions

Tom and Paula McInerney recently gave a $5.5 million gift to Foundations in Education, which Bishop Frank Caggiano says will “transform the paradigm of Catholic education in the Diocese of Bridgeport.”

The gift will finance five unique projects which Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Cheeseman, believes to be “critical to the future of education in our diocese, both in how our Catholic education is delivered and in how our children learn and prepare for the future.”

The projects include: 1) Personalized Learning and Technology Immersion Program, 2) St. Joseph Academy in Brookfield Multiage Classroom Model, 3) Leadership Academy, 4) Fellowship Residency Program, and 5) High School Pathways to Success.

The Personalized Learning Initiative will be launched this fall with pilot programs at six schools and eventually rolled out at all Catholic elementary schools over the next three years. It will provide updated technology infrastructure, new hardware and student devices and programs to support the traditional Catholic school educational experience. The technology will not only improve academic performance among students but also increase their self-confidence and provide them lifetime learning skills.

“These programs will serve as the foundational cornerstone for the transformation of our schools and support our mission as we seek to form hearts in faith, inform minds in truth and transform the lives of young people so that they will live as missionary disciples of our Lord,” says Bishop Caggiano.

Tom McInerney adds, “To survive and prosper, we have to provide an education at least as good as and ideally better thanthe public schools. It has to be an excellent education. And I think individual learning is a clear improvement on the educational methodology.”

Tom McInerney is Foundations in Education’s Vice Chair and CEO and co-founder of Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm based in Westport.

Tom is a product of lifelong Catholic education. He attended Holy Cross Elementary School and St. Augustine High School in Brooklyn, followed by Cathedral College, a junior seminary, and later St. John’s University, where he received a degree in English literature and served on the board of trustees for 13 years, five as chairman. He also attended New York University Stern School of Business and received an honorary doctorate of commercial science from St. John’s in Education.

The six pilot schools where the Personalized Learning Initiative will be unveiled are Assumption in Fairfield, St. Gregory the Great in Danbury, Holy Trinity Catholic Academy in Shelton, the Upper School at the Catholic Academy of Stamford, Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton and the new multi-age school, St. Joseph Catholic Academy in Brookfield.