After an extensive international search by our 5- person search committee, I am delighted to advise that the Board of Governors has appointed Mr. Stephen Handrigan, President of St. Bonaventure’s College. Stephen will join St. Bon’s on August 3, 2020 after a distinguished career in teaching and school administration with the Catholic schools in Ontario and most recently as Executive Director of St. Michael’s Choir School.

Mr. Handrigan brings a unique skill set with experience in private Catholic education. He is a practicing Catholic, who understands and embraces Ignatian mission, spirituality, and pedagogy; a strategic thinker; an engaging and inspiring communicator; an effective fundraiser; an experienced educator; and a collaborative manager possessing strong business and financial acumen.

“I am honoured and humbled to be appointed as President of St. Bonaventure’s College. My wife Jenny and I are excited to return to St. John’s to embark on this next chapter in the city I’ve always called home. I look forward to collaboratively working with the St. Bon’s community to continue to develop the school as a leader in Catholic education

“As Provincial of the Canadian Jesuits I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Stephen Handrigan on the announcement of his appointment as President of St. Bonaventure’s College. Mr. Handrigan’s background in Catholic education and, not least, his experience as executive director of St. Michael’s Choir School will only enrich St. Bon’s strengths; from its Ignatian charism to its commitment to musical excellence and beyond. I sincerely look forward to our continued collaboration with this fine school and its new leadership. AMDG”, Fr. Erik Oland, SJ.

A transition plan supported by the Board of Governors and lead by Mrs. Cathy Bennett is in place. As part of this plan Mr. Handrigan will visit the school over the coming months providing opportunities for you to meet him. We look forward to formally celebrating and welcoming Stephen and his family into the St. Bonaventure’s College community later this spring as he prepares to take on his leadership role beginning in the new school year.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers over the past number of months.


Nancy Healey

Chair of the Board of Governors

Biography of Stephen Handrigan

Stephen Handrigan was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He attended Holy Cross School and Brother Rice High School and received his undergraduate degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University, as well as a master’s degree in Education from the University of Victoria. Stephen also studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England. He has attended the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Leadership Institute and he holds Ontario Principals’ and Superintendent Qualifications.

Stephen’s career in education began in Catholic elementary schools in St. John’s. He moved to Toronto in 1988, and as a choral and band specialist with the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), he taught and led multiple musical ensembles at Madonna High School and Senator O’Connor College School. Stephen’s career path also included teaching in independent schools, including Upper Canada College in Toronto, and The Country Day School in King City, where he held the position of Head of Music for over ten years.  Stephen was also the Director of the Conference of Independent Schools’ Music Festival, he has been an administrator at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School and Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School (TCDSB), and for the past 8 years he has been the Executive Director of St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto.

As Executive Director of St. Michael’s Choir School, Stephen organized tours of Italy, Germany, New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Quebec and Newfoundland. He has also developed exchange partnerships with the Sistine Chapel Choir School in Rome as well as the Regensburger Domspatzen in Regensburg, Germany and the Cologne Cathedral Choir School in Cologne, Germany.

Stephen is an accomplished musician, and as a baritone soloist, he has appeared in recitals, oratorios, and on CBC Radio. He has performed leading roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as well as Broadway musicals, and he was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Chorus.

For over twenty years, Stephen held the position of Director of Music at Annunciation Parish in Don Mills, conducting three choirs (Children, Youth and Adult) as well as being a cantor.

Stephen is blessed with a loving and supportive family. He has two sons, Michael and Thomas. Michael is currently a Department Head of English at an International Baccalaureate School in Guangzhou, China and Thomas is a fourth-year business student at Ryerson University. Stephen and his wife Jenny are looking forward to moving into their heritage home in downtown St. John’s to begin this next chapter in the city they love and call home.