No stranger to a Xaverian education, Josh Tranfaglia '08 takes his passions to Xaverian Brothers High School as the Assistant Principal for Student Life
Base Camp: Holliston, Massachusetts
Bona Fides: B.S. in Business Management (minor in History), Providence College; M.Ed., Providence College
Path to the Present: Josh Tranfaglia remembers coming to St. John’s as a short, husky kid and getting cut from every sports team he tried to make. In retrospect, he’s grateful.
“It was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me because it taught me grit, resilience, and that I needed to get back up off the floor and do something else,” he says.
The Lynn native is doing something else, and he’s doing it in the Xaverian family. He’s the Assistant Principal for Student Life down Route 95 at Xaverian Brothers High School. What’s more, his athletic career as an Eagle had a happy ending—more on that in a moment—so the schools’ rivalry isn’t even a grudge match for him. Which brings us back to how he found his way back into the Xaverian fold. The answer is he never really left.
“I have been in Catholic education from preschool all the way through to the present day,” he explains. “That includes college and grad school and beyond, so I’ve only known Catholic institutions. At Providence, I thought I would go on to make my fortune in business, but I was really interested in history, so I minored in that.
“My senior year, I was working for a healthcare company in the billing department,” he continues. “I had to process 15 claims in eight hours. I was done in about 45 minutes, so I would spend the rest of my day figuring out: ‘What are my passions? What do I really want to do?’ I coached all through my time at St. John’s—CYO basketball, Little League, Babe Ruth—so I decided I should teach and coach.”
Tranfaglia got a two-year master’s while working full-time at a small parochial school in Fall River in association with the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teaching. In a classic case of preparation meeting opportunity, Xaverian launched a new middle school program around the time he graduated. Tranfaglia taught social studies there in grades 7 through 9 for five years, but when Hawks’ Head of School Brother Daniel Skala, C.F.X. was elected General Superior of the Congregation of St. Francis Xavier, the resulting administrative shuffle opened another door: student life.
"It all comes down to doing something that you love, because that passion shows through in your actions, your words, and your teaching.”
“I love my job and I think it’s amazing to be able to work with kids at their best moments and their worst moments, and ultimately work with families and students and teachers toward achieving the same goal,” says Tranfaglia, who still teaches a section of eighth grade social studies. “Student life is always an unfinished business. You can always be better. You can always offer better activities, you could always handle a discipline situation better. It all comes down to doing something that you love, because that passion shows through in your actions, your words, and your teaching.”
As for his own sports comeback story, Tranfaglia eventually settled on track at the Prep and became an important relay runner and was the team’s best shot putter as a senior. At Xaverian, he’s coached golf, basketball, and baseball and has relished the competition with his alma mater.
“Now, seeing it from the other side, it’s a very interesting dynamic. I love the rivalry because we’re both strong programs in athletics, and even the extracurricular programs that come out of my office like Model UN get to experience the challenge of facing St. John’s. It’s great that we have the resources to be as competitive as we are with each other and, ultimately, it’s a lot of fun."
P.S. How a struggling artist found a career in playing board games. Want to view the entire Prep magazine? Check it out here.