The 10-year CBA counselor will succeed Colleen Hayes, who has helmed the department since 2005.
LINCROFT, N.J. – Christian Brothers Academy is pleased to announce that Pat Leonardo has been named the new Director of Guidance, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.
Leonardo has been an upperclassman college counselor at CBA for the past 10 years and brings a wealth of college admissions knowledge to the role.
“In my decades of work as a college admissions officer, visiting CBA topped the list in terms of my favorite places to visit due to the chance to meet great students and caring friendly, professional people in the CBA Guidance Department,” Leonardo said. “That’s why I came to CBA ten years ago and that’s why I am thrilled today to be able to lead the Guidance Department into the future with the knowledge and optimism that our caring staff can help change student lives for the better.”
Leonardo will take over the position from retiring director Colleen Hayes, who has been a member of the office since 2002 and its director since 2005. She has played an integral role in helping thousands of Academy men through the often-stressful, but rewarding college admissions process.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work with the Brothers, administration, faculty, staff, students and parents,” Hayes said. “My time at CBA has been very satisfying and memorable. I am proud to have been part of such a giving, caring, and hardworking group of people.”
Hayes has helped lead the Academy’s guidance program into the digital age, while also expanding the office and staff during her tenure.
“I am profoundly happy for Colleen and wish her all the best in this new chapter of her life, but we will miss her in the guidance office,” Principal Ross Fales said. “Her steady hand and calming presence, as well as her unwavering commitment to our students, have been hallmarks of her tenure.”
As a member of the guidance office, Leonardo has been the manager of the Naviance Software for college applications, which has made the submission process easier for CBA seniors. He has also taught a required junior year group guidance course, where students participate in activities that are designed to give them a comprehensive, experiential and realistic look at the college search and admissions processes.
Before coming to CBA, Leonardo was an upperclassmen college counselor at St. Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, N.J.
Leonardo has worked at the collegiate level in both undergraduate and graduate admissions, including 21 years in the undergraduate admissions office of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. He has also worked at the New York Institute of Technology and Brooklyn College.
“We will continue to follow the winding path of a changing college admissions world, and we will undergo some positive changes, learn more, share our expertise and show the same high level of care as we always have done,” Leonardo said. “I stand ready and excited to put together the varied pieces of our expanding universe which will ultimately result in helping students achieve their full potential at CBA – both in the classroom and in their personal lives.”
After graduating from Notre Dame, Leonardo received his Master’s Degree in Education from Temple University. He is a decorated guidance professional who sits on multiple national committees, including Naviance Software’s national advisory board, the National Catholic College Admissions Association executive board, and National Association of College Admissions Professionals.
“Pat brings decades of knowledge and experience to the role from previous positions he has held at both the college and preparatory school level,” Fales said. “He will continue to be a great asset to CBA and help to guide us into a new era. I congratulate Pat and look forward to working with him.”