Tyburn Academy principal leaves Auburn Catholic school


Maura DelFavero was teaching eighth grade students at the old St. Joseph’s School in Auburn when she met the principal of Mary’s Tyburn Academy Immaculate, also in Auburn.

Jeanne Hogan, principal of the Catholic high school, came to St. Joseph’s to see her grandson – one of DelFavero’s eighth grade students – give a presentation, and the two educators quickly became friends.

“She kept encouraging me to come to Tyburn. When she first encouraged me, it wasn’t really the right time for me, as far as my family is concerned, ”recalls DelFavero, who at the time had young children.

In 2008, however, DelFavero agreed to come to Tyburn to meet Hogan and some of his teachers. She ended up taking a job as an assistant administrator and in 2016 became the principal of the school which has become one of her favorite places.

“It’s a bit like at home, at school, but I’m ready to make a change,” DelFavero told the Catholic mail end of June.

DelFavero stepped down as Tyburn manager on July 1. She will spend the summer preparing for her daughter’s upcoming wedding and spending time with her children and grandchildren as she discerns her next calling.

DelFavero, who was born and raised in Pennsylvania, said she landed in education almost by accident. While at university, she majored in political science and intended to attend law school after graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She added another education specialization after a friend suggested she have a back-up plan in case law school doesn’t work. Luckily, she ultimately never went to law school.

“I was just lucky that as soon as I graduated I got a job as a summer school teacher when I graduated from college,” DelFavero said.

That summer job eventually turned into a full-time teaching position at a Pennsylvania public school, where she then went on to tenure.

“But then I married an Auburnian, so that brought me to Auburn,” she remarked.

After spending several years staying at home with her children when they were young, DelFavero accepted a teaching position at St. Joseph when her youngest started his first year at Auburn School. She stayed at St. Joseph for four years before studying the possibility of moving to Tyburn Academy.

“When I first got to the building to meet (Hogan) and some of the other teachers, it was such a positive environment. They really didn’t have to sell me this school, ”she recalls.

DelFavero believes Tyburn’s positive vibe was due in part to the dedication of Hogan, who had been associated with the school since its beginnings in the 1990s.

“Everyone always said you can’t say no to Ms. Hogan. It’s true, ”DelFavero said with a laugh. “I guess his dedication to school was infectious. You just wanted to be a part of it because she loved this school so much.

DelFavero joined the Tyburn community as the school was adding grades to college. Some parents choose to send their children to Tyburn because they believe in the school’s strong Catholic mission, while others may not be Catholic but want their children to benefit from the increased attention of teachers. that Tyburn’s small class size allows her to provide, she said. Whatever the reason they end up in Tyburn, however, the students seem to feel a sense of peace while they are there, she added.

“I think it’s kind of a safe haven for them in a lot of ways,” she said.

Tyburn was also a safe place for DelFavero, who said she came to view many families at the school, as well as her colleagues, as a second family of sorts.

“Since it’s a small community, you really get to know people well. … I will miss the community and family that I have built here, ”said DelFavero.

Tyburn has been an integral part of DelFavero’s life since 2008 and will miss school, but she knows it’s time for a change.

“Sometimes you look for signs, and the signs were there that it was time to transition for me,” DelFavero said.

DelFavero’s replacement as Tyburn principal is Conor O’Donnell, who taught at the school for seven years and most recently served as chair of Tyburn’s theological department, she said.

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