Bishop Lawrence Persico named James Gallagher as the superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Erie on Wednesday.
Persico said while developing a pastoral plan, the diocese needed a strong Catholic school office.
“I am confident Jim will provide strong, pastoral leadership,” Persico said. “I am impressed by both his extensive background and his commitment to Catholic education.”
Gallagher, a 39-year-old Millcreek Township resident, is a Gannon University graduate and recently worked at Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit, a regional educational service agency.
As superintendent, Gallagher will oversee aspects of school operation, including Catholic identity, academic quality and budgeting.
“I am passionate about education,” Gallagher said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring my professional skills and my personal faith life together in one position and see how I can make a difference in our community.”
Gallagher said he looks forward to meeting with students and staff when he assumes the position on Aug. 8.
In the plans, the bishop has called for closing schools as part of restructuring within the diocese.
During the 2015-16 academic year, the diocese operated seven Catholic high schools and 30 Catholic elementary and middle schools with 566 full-time teachers with 7,732 students.