Announcing Our New Assistant Principal for Campus Life: Mr. Michael J. Ware ’89

Michael WareHoly Cross High School is pleased to announce that Mr. Michael Ware will serve as the next Assistant Principal for Campus Life effective immediately.

A member of the Class of 1989, Mr. Ware is currently Chair of the Art Department and Dean of the Class of 2025. Prior to joining the Holy Cross faculty in 2019, he taught Art at Holy Trinity High School and served the City of New York for several years as an officer in the NYPD.

A respected and dedicated member of the Holy Cross faculty and a passionate alumnus, Mr. Ware’s understanding of and dedication to the mission of Holy Cross, along with his care for our students, makes him the ideal candidate to serve our school community in this capacity.

“We conducted a thorough search and interviewed several highly qualified candidates for this position,” notes Mark Mongelluzo ’92, President. “Mike Ware’s nearly forty year affiliation with Holy Cross, his excellent work as a teacher the past several years and as a Dean this past year, coupled with the respect and admiration with which he is held among our faculty and students alike, made it clear he was the perfect choice to be our next Assistant Principal for Campus Life. I am delighted that Mike said yes and I look forward to working with him in his new role where I am confident he will continue to be a positive influence upon our students.”

Dr. Weedens Blanchard, Ed.D.’89, Principal adds, “Michael is a constant professional and seasoned educator. He takes the work of education seriously. What I admire about Mike most is the love he has for Holy Cross High School. His appointment is the added piece needed as we continue to move Holy Cross in the right direction. I very much look forward to working with Michael.”

Reporting to the Principal, in his new role Mr. Ware will serve as a key member of the leadership team in fostering and developing a Catholic and Holy Cross culture throughout the school. He will do so by promoting a positive school climate, implementing and managing all aspects of the Student Code of Conduct including the school’s Attendance Policy and Discipline Policy, communicating with parents on all issues relative to discipline, attendance and other campus life issues, and managing all aspects of co-curricular, non-Athletic activities and clubs. He will be assisted in this work by the four Deans of each class who will report to him in that capacity.

Mr. Ware remarks, “I would like to thank Mr. Mongelluzzo and Dr. Blanchard for putting their trust in me to guide the young men and women of Holy Cross as their new Assistant Principal for Campus Life. I hope to promote the good Catholic values in our students that were instilled in me when I attended Holy Cross. I have been provided so many meaningful opportunities for growth during my time here at Cross, starting as an Art teacher, as Fine Arts chairperson, as well as getting involved with the school newspaper – The Lance, the photography club, coaching the football team, and as Dean of the Class of 2025 and now Assistant Principal for Campus Life. I am truly humbled to be able to work with an amazing faculty, a top notch administration and a growing student body here at my alma mater.”

Please join us in welcoming our new Assistant Principal for Campus Life, Mr. Michael J. Ware of the Class of 1989.

Dr. Weedens E. Blanchard, ED.D. ’89 to Serve As Eleventh Principal of Holy Cross High School

Dear Holy Cross Family:

Following an extensive, months-long search of qualified candidates, Holy Cross is pleased to announce that Dr. Weedens E. Blanchard, Ed.D. will serve as its eleventh principal as of July 1, 2023.

Principal WoodyDr. Weedens “Woody” Blanchard is a 1989 graduate of Holy Cross and a 2022 Hall of Fame inductee. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the eldest of four children, he emigrated here with his family in 1977 and attended St. Pascal Baylon School in St. Albans, Queens.

Dr. Blanchard joins us from Adelphi University where he is currently the NYC Teaching Fellows Program Director and Manhattan Education Program Director in the Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Sciences. He had previously been the Director of Education and Evening School Director at Hunter Business School, Levittown Campus and the NYC MEN TEACH Program Director at Hostos Community College, CUNY.Throughout his vast academic career spanning over two decades, he has held numerous positions at various institutions including his alma mater, St. John’s University, Queensborough Community College and Vista Academy Middle School and has had extensive experience in instruction, curriculum development, teacher and staff evaluation, student advisement and course selection, IT networks, program development and management and strategic planning.

An accomplished trumpeter, Woody found his passion for music at Holy Cross, and was a member of the Jazz Band and Pep Band. He won the 1989 Directors Band Award his senior year and received a music scholarship to St. John’s University, where he would earn his Associate of Science Degree in Electronic Data Processing and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. He would later earn both a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University as well.

Dr. Blanchard has served on various committees at both St. John’s University and Queensborough Community College including Academic Strategic Planning, Retention Management, Enrollment Management and the Middle States Technology Committee, among others. In 2020, he joined the Board of Holy Cross and has served on the Personnel and Negotiations Committee as well as the Executive Committee as Secretary where he has proven to be insightful in analyzing the challenges facing Holy Cross.

Mentorship and a dedication to social justice has also been an important facet of Woody’s educational and leadership philosophy. Over the past several years, his work with NYC MEN TEACH helped inspire more men of color to become teachers in New York City through a variety of engagement and recruitment efforts. He has also spent time mentoring young African American males as well as underserved students as a Student Sponsor Partners (SSP) Mentor. These will be assets to our community in the years to come.

My thanks go to the members of the Principal Search Committee: Tom Girard ’80, Chair, John Gerspach ’71, Board Chair, Ellen Curry Damato, Rev. Kevin Creagh, C.M.’87, Joe Giannuzzi ’65, Mary Anne Kelleher and Tom Marchesini ’86 P’23 ’25. They were thorough, thoughtful, engaged and insightful. The process worked and again, we found the ideal candidate was here among us with the credentials and passion to serve Holy Cross well.

Tom Girard ’80, Chair of the Principal Search Committee noted, “The Search Committee did an outstanding job of thoroughly vetting a diverse group of qualified candidates and Dr. Blanchard quickly rose to the top of that list. Holy Cross will benefit from his leadership, passion, communication skills, and vast experience as an educator.”

“Given his strong background in leadership, student learnings and educational management, combined with his undying passion for Holy Cross,” noted Board Chair John Gerspach ’71, “I have no doubt that Dr. Blanchard will prove to be an outstanding Principal of our beloved Holy Cross. I am excited for our students who will be the true beneficiaries of Woody’s immense talents and unique perspectives.”

Dr. Blanchard notes, “I am humbled to serve as the eleventh principal of my alma mater, Holy Cross High School. With this appointment, it is a testament to God that my life has come full circle and I have returned home. Father Basil Moreau wrote in 1856, ‘Education is the art of helping young people to completeness.’ Following Father Moreau, I am devoted to ensuring our students reach their maximum potential. The values I hold as an administrator – assuring access to education, providing equity of services, promoting diversity in programs, and encouraging a mutual respect of all students, are evidenced through my academic research interests and professional accomplishments.”

“I look forward to working with our dedicated faculty, staff, and students of Holy Cross to maintain the mission, generate excitement within the community and external constituencies, and play a significant role in the betterment of the lives and futures of our students.”

We are elated to welcome Dr. Weedens “Woody” Blanchard home to Holy Cross as our next Principal. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in all facets of education that will move Holy Cross further into the 21st Century and benefit all of our students at all levels of our academic programming. Of equal importance, he brings a tremendous energy, enthusiasm and affection for Holy Cross that will help our mission thrive. I have greatly enjoyed working with him the last three years on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and I look forward to his partnership in the years to come in the work of moving Holy Cross forward.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Weedens “Woody” Blanchard ’89 as the eleventh principal of Holy Cross High School.

Ave Crux, Spes Unica.




Mark A. Mongelluzzo ’92

Holy Cross Announces New Boys Varsity Basketball Coach

Billy Turnage, New Boys Varsity Basketball CoachHoly Cross High School is excited to announce the appointment of Billy Turnage as Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coach for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

Billy brings an extensive and successful pedigree to Francis Lewis Boulevard. For the last 18 years at Wings Academy in the Bronx, he transformed the basketball program into a perennial contender in the New York City PSAL. In 2010 he was named Coach of the Year by the NY Daily News. Throughout his time at Wings, his teams won 12 Bronx Borough PSAL Championships, posting a nine-year regular unbeaten streak along the way. These efforts culminated in 2015 with a New York City PSAL Championship and a New York State Federation Championship, with Wings finishing as the 15th ranked team in the nation in the USA Today basketball poll.

No stranger to the CHSAA, or Holy Cross, Billy played here at Cross for three years, including on the Varsity under Jim Kerr, until financial hardship necessitated him transferring to Andrew Jackson High School for his senior year. That experience has led to feelings of “unfinished business” with the upper echelon of the CHSAA – AA division. After all these years, Billy looks forward to returning to home to Holy Cross.

Prior to Wings, Billy spent five years at St. Mary’s in Manhasset as a Varsity Assistant and was on staff for their 2002 New York State Championship title year. After that, he joined the Varsity staff at Holy Cross as an Assistant Coach, spending two seasons here helping develop a young core of players that went on to with the 2008 CHSAA City and State Championships. His son Tai currently plays in the CHSAA for St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx, a 10th grader who’s played on the Varsity there the past two seasons.

Billy is well known, well liked, and well respected in New York City basketball circles. He brings a balanced mix of professionalism, discipline, and enthusiasm that resonates with all those who work with him- especially his players. He is looking forward to getting our student athletes prepared for the season ahead, and most importantly, life after basketball and Holy Cross.

Director of Athletics Keith Goggin ‘92 had this to say regarding Coach Turnage:

“First off, I’d like to thank Ray Cullinan for all the work he put into Holy Cross basketball. He stepped up to the Varsity when I needed him to, and I’ll put his coaching ability up against anyone. After 19 years coaching basketball here, he leaves our program as the only man to be the head coach of all four of our Boys teams- Freshmen, JV, Varsity “B” and Varsity.

As for Coach Turnage, I’m grateful that he’s embraced the challenge. I’m also so happy that Billy’s agreed to come back where it all began. We were teammates thirty years ago; now we’re teammates again. I’m looking forward to the future of our Boys program with someone as successful as Billy at the helm.”

President Mark Mongelluzzo ’92 added:

“After a selective search and interviewing multiple qualified candidates, Billy Turnage emerged as the clear choice to move Holy Cross Boys Basketball to a bright future. We are excited to work with him and welcome him home.”

Welcome aboard Coach Turnage! We are happy to have you as a Knight once again!