James Meredith has been named the new principal of Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia, where he has been serving as assistant principal for academic affairs since July 2006.

Meredith has served in teaching and administrative positions at Ryan since August 2001.

“His experience and knowledge of our school makes him uniquely qualified for the position,” said Michael McArdle, the school’s president. “Both his background and his experience are attributes that makes him an outstanding choice. He knows Ryan; he knows the faculty, the students and the parents. We are excited to be able to have him assume the duties of principal and look forward to his leadership.”


Meredith replaces Helen Chaykowsky, who retired in June after 48 years in Catholic education.

He said he was “grateful and humbled by the confidence placed in me” by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education, which made the appointment July 3.

“I want to thank my predecessor, Ms. Helen Chaykowsky, whose distinguished leadership and grace guided our school for 11 years,” Meredith said. “As a member of the Ryan family for 12 years, I have worked with countless talented educators and students who make our school truly stand out as a special place in Philadelphia. I look forward to continuing our reputation as a school that produces students who are leaders charged with answering the call to solve the challenges of our 21st century.”

Meredith has a Bachelor of Arts degree from De Sales University and a master’s in education from Cabrini College.

At the past two national conventions for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) he was a presenter on the uses of technology in education. Prior to his arrival at Ryan he taught at Monsignor Bonner High School and has taught fifth grade at St. Katherine of Siena School in Northeast Philadelphia.

Additionally, he served as a sports writer for the Intelligencer newspaper.

Meredith is married with four children and resides in St. Cecilia Parish in Northeast Philadelphia.