By Lou Baldwin

Special to The CS&T

PHILADELPHIA – Gerald (Jerry) J. Maginnis, managing partner of the Philadelphia office of KPMG, has been appointed to the Archdiocesan Board of Education. The appointment was announced Nov. 10.

“We are honored and excited to have Jerry serve on the Archdiocesan Board of Education and the board’s finance committee,” said Gerald Parsons, board chairperson. “As a board member, Jerry will take part in achieving the archdiocesan mission of providing students with a superior academic foundation in a safe environment where qualified, dedicated teachers instill moral and spiritual values.”

“I’m a big believer in Catholic education,” said Maginnis, who is a product of St. Cecilia School in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia. He is also an alum of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and a 1977 graduate of St. Joseph’s University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Public Accountants.

Maginnis has spent most of his professional life with KPMG, a multi-national provider of audit, tax and advisory services. He is a member of the board of trustees of St. Joseph’s Prep, a member of the CEO Council for Growth, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, the Board of Councilors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and a Campaign Cabinet Member of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

He and his wife, Lee Ann, reside in St. Mary Parish, Williamstown, N.J., and are the parents of three: Julie, a teacher; Nicole, a nurse; and Jerry, a senior at St. Joseph’s Prep.

Maginnis is aware of the challenges the Archdiocesan Board of Education must face, especially in today’s climate of economic uncertainty.

“The biggest challenge is declining enrollment, in particular in the inner-city schools. That’s at the top of the list,” he said. “There is always the challenge to balance the budget and provide quality education. We have to be sensitive to the needs of families and tuition increases have to be feasible. Parents make sacrifices.”

There is also the challenge of the changing infrastructure of the Archdiocese itself, Maginnis notes. While most Catholics once lived in the city, now most live outside the city.

The challenge is to bring Catholic education to these new centers of population. The planned new suburban high schools “are a bullish bet on the future of Catholic education,” he said.

For himself, he does not take board memberships lightly, and would not serve if unwilling to commit the necessary time to the work, he said.

After some years in the business world, he feels a sense of responsibility to give something back.

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be involved with the Archdiocese,” he said.

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.