Academy Board of Directors

Mary Alarcon

Mary and her husband, Bob, moved into St. Gregory’s parish in 1980, looking for a welcoming and dynamic community to raise a family. They were not disappointed. Their four children all attended St. Gregory’s School (and endless CYO games) and they remember those years with affection and gratitude.

Professionally, Mary has been a public school educator for over twenty-four years. During her fifteen years as a middle-school science teacher, she worked on a number of district and city-wide curriculum initiatives and was fortunate enough to have been a founding staff member of a new grade 6-12 school and pedagogical consultant for a training program for Mount Sinai Hospital. For the last nine years, she has been an assistant principal, most of that time in a large K-8 school in South Ozone Park, and currently in a local District 26 middle school.

James M. Harrison

Jim Harrison was born in the Bronx, New York in 1951, where he grew up. He graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1973.

A CPA early in his career, Jim worked at the accounting firm of Arthur Young & Company (today Ernst and Young). He left in 1977 to become the Assistant Corporate Controller of Ingredient Technology, a NYSE listed intermediate processor of various food ingredients. In 1986 as their EVP/CFO Jim was instrumental in the sale of the company to Compton & Knowles.

In 1986 Jim joined C.R. Gibson, a manufacturer of social expression and memory products, as their EVP/CFO. In 1995 as CFO/COO he led the sale of the company to Thomas Nelson Company.

Jim joined Amscan in 1996 and led the IPO later that year, and the subsequent LBO in the Fall of 1997. Serving as the President and COO of Amscan Holdings, Inc. Jim, along with Gerry Rittenberg, has led the growth of AHI over the past 20 years from $150 Million in revenue to over $2.4 Billion in 2016; spurred in large measure by the forward integration into retail through the Party City Corporation acquisition. Jim led the successful IPO of Party City in April 2015.

He is married to his wife of 40 years, Bernadette, and is the father of four children, a daughter Marie and sons Michael, William and James Jr. The three oldest are married, and with his seven grandchildren, work and live in the New York area.

John P. Hauser Class of '99

John is a CPA/JD and senior tax manager at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP. John attended St. Gregory the Great School from Kindergarten through eighth grade and later attended Chaminade High School. John currently resides in Wantagh, NY with his wife, Caitlin, and his daughter, Claire.

Jean O’Shea  

Jean O’Shea is the Executive Director of the FDNY Foundation funding FDNY fire and life safety programs and training, equipment and education needs.

She was Executive Director of Futures in Education for 15 years developing programs and raising funds for Catholic Schools and the children they serve in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Her previous work experience includes marketing and development for the March of Dimes, Austin Nichols and Campari.

Jean is a proud graduate from St. Gregory the Great School has degrees from Hofstra University, St Francis College, Baruch and Columbia Business School Executive Leadership.

She is married to Patrick and has 3 wonderful children Kelly, Tara and Owen

Margaret E. McGlynn

Margaret E. McGlynn, Ed.D. is a life-long resident of Bellerose as well as a proud member of St. Gregory the Great Parish and alumni of St. Gregory the Great school. She is excited to be joining the Academy family and is happy to share her knowledge and love of learning with St. Gregory the Great community.

Dr. McGlynn has a B.S. in Elementary Education with a certification in PreK through grades 6 as well as an English certification for grades 7 through 12.  She began her career in Whitestone as a Reading Specialist in District 25 where she taught grades 7 through 9 while continuing her education and becoming certified as a School Building Leader.  In 2010 she received her doctorate degree from St. John’s University and published a study entitled “Teacher’s Perceptions of Literacy and Policy Implications for School Leaders.”   Dr. McGlynn has worked as a classroom teacher, Reading Specialist, teacher of English Language Learners, assistant principal, and principal.  Currently, she is working as both a principal at Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Bayside and an adjunct professor at St. John’s University.  She looks forward to seeing St. Gregory the Great Academy continue to prosper!

Steven M.P. Neier

Steven M.P. Neier, SGTG ’94, Board Member, is Assistant Dean for Mission, Media & Outreach and Assistant Director, Institute for Catholic Schools in The School of Education at St. John’s University.  A member of the St. Gregory the Great graduating class of '94, Steve then graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School ('98), and St. John’s University ('02) with a B.A. in English and a minor in Secondary Education where he began as a college seminarian in Cathedral Seminary Residence, Douglaston.  He began his career as a teacher in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn.  He later earned an. M.A. in Theology from Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington ('10) where he concentrated on Liturgy.  He returned to St. John’s in 2011, becoming School of Education Manhattan Campus Coordinator in 2014 before taking on his current responsibilities. His work with the Institute for Catholic Schools began in June 2015, something for which he is incredibly grateful.  In 2016, he earned his M.S.Ed. in School Building Leadership from St. John’s University.

Today, Steve participates nationally in the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Leadership Summit each fall with district superintendents and higher education collaborators from around the country and in the NCEA Convention in the spring with Catholic school teachers and administrators from across the United States.  Both of these experiences he finds incredibly uplifting and educational.

Steve views Catholic schools today as the champion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. He is honored to serve as a Director at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy .  “Our students share in an incredibly rich tradition and are on the road to success at St. Gregory the Great.  Students of Catholic schools in the United States graduate from high school and attend four-year college at a higher rate than graduates of other schools.  The Class of 2018, the first graduating class of this Academy, and every class thereafter will enjoy the same bright future to which all of us who graduated from St. Gregory’s School had access- brighter still.  The new governance model only serves to secure that in the most viable and excellent way possible; brilliant things are ahead,” he says.

Jeanne Shannon

Jeanne Shannon is a proud product of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Brooklyn having attended St. Thomas the Apostle School in Woodhaven and St. Francis Preparatory High School. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in both Elementary and Special Education, Jeanne began teaching at St. Elizabeth School in Ozone Park. She has taught at all grade levels working in both self-contained classes and departmentally. Currently, Jeanne serves as a full-time Assistant Principal at St. Elizabeth and the Assistant Director of the school’s Pre-K for All Program.

Jeanne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from the State University College at Geneseo. After that, she studied to be a Reading Specialist at St. John’s University. Finally, Jeanne received a degree in School Building Leadership from St. John’s.

For many years, Jeanne served as a Visiting Team Member for the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools; she was also a member of the Diocesan Steering Committee for Emotional Literacy, serving with Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence and has been featured in their videos. For the last 2 years, Jeanne has been a member of the NBA Math Hoops All-Star Educator Team. Jeanne is a Teq certified Smart user and has published Smart Notebook files for others to download and use in classroom instruction. Jeanne is a 2016 recipient of St. John’s University School of Education Distinguished Alumni award.

Jeanne loves spending time with her family, attending concerts and Broadway shows, reading and traveling. She looks forward to serving as a member of the St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy Board.

Arthur J. Sonnick  

As an active member of his Parish of Saint Gregory the Great, Arthur Sonnick has run many events that played a significant role in fundraising. As a fundraiser, he is adept at networking event coordination and budget oversight.  Measuring achievements are critical to continued success, not only in the Parish, but most importantly to our school.

For over 18 Years, he has been an integral part of our annual Gregorian Festival which, raises money to benefit our school.  As the head purchaser and captain of the International Tent, he is involved with all of the necessary purchases of both equipment and all food that will be used.  Most importantly of all, Arthur participates in the interaction with all of our volunteers and customers ensuring everything is running smoothly. He served on the School Board for eight years, six years as Vice President, when his son attended school at Saint Gregory's.  While on the School Board, he was able to help facilitate a major grant for an addition to the school building, including new classrooms and a state of the art science lab.

Arthur is committed to continuing to making Saint Gregory the Great Academy a model of education and a thriving community where he will continue his communal experience and share it with all the parents and students.

Tom Van Buskirk

Tom Van Buskirk and his wife, Robbie (Feltham) live in Bellerose Village.  His connection to our parish goes back over 40 years as he and his wife, Robbie were married at St. Greg's in 1976.  Robbie is a graduate of the school, Class of '67.  Both their sons, Tom, Jr. and Christian, were baptized, received First Eucharist, and were confirmed at St. Greg's as well as their two grandsons, Luke and Liam.

Tom was the Chief Administrative Officer of one of the largest international law firms in the world.  He also was the Executive Director of a financial services firm in Manhattan.  He has a BS degree in Criminal Justice and has an MBA.

Tom has been involved in various civic activities including serving as a Deputy Chief of the Bellerose Fire Department.  He has also served on various civic committees in Bellerose Village including being a member of the village's Board of Trustees for five years and as Mayor of the Village of Bellerose for eleven years.

He has served for six years on the Board of Governors for Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn and is scheduled to become its Board Chairman this year. Our Board of Directors have asked him to serve as Chairman of our Academy's Board. Tom is committed to making our new Academy a model for our Diocese and the Bellerose community.

He and Robbie are committed to the mission, and success, of our Academy.