Meet Molly McMahon, Ph.D.
"For me, education is a mission of social justice. Based on the greatest example in education, Christ the Teacher, we know that at its best, education can be the great equalizer.” –Molly McMahon, Ph.D.
On July 6, Molly McMahon, Ph.D., joined the Roche Center for Catholic Education as the Director of Leadership Programs. In this new role for the Center, Molly manages and evaluates all leadership formation programs, including the Catholic Leadership Cohort, the Emmaus Leadership Academies, and the Superintendent Professional Learning Community. Leadership programs at the Roche Center are targeted for emerging, sitting, and diocesan-level leaders.
“I have a deep passion for education, because for me, education is a mission of social justice,” Molly explained. “Based on the greatest example in education, Christ the Teacher, we know that at its best, education can be the great equalizer.”
Molly comes to the Roche Center after spending more than 20 years in leadership roles in Catholic and public schools. Most recently, she was principal for nine years of South Row Elementary School in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, where she accompanied more than 70 teachers and staff members, leading to improved pedagogy and effectiveness. She also has expertise in managing and overseeing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, alongside the development of SEL MTSS Tiered Systems of Support, both- school and district-wide. South Row, in fact, housed the district’s only Tier 3 SEL site, which was initiated by Molly.
“What I have learned is that when social emotional learning is implemented effectively in schools, for both students and staff, the school culture is transformed,” she shared. “School leaders set the educational, social-emotional and spiritual culture of the school, and teachers are the single most important factor in a child’s education. Therefore, leadership matters now more than ever.”
After earning her undergraduate degree at Villanova University, Molly entered the Inner City Teaching Corps in Chicago, Illinois, where she worked as a third grade teacher at Academy of St. Benedict the African. Molly has a master’s degree in Advanced Teaching from Northwestern University, and a doctorate in Educational Administration K-12 from Boston College, where she also served as an instructional coach at the college’s lab partnership school, St. Columbkille, in Brighton, Massachusetts.
Molly shared that in addition to educational leadership and SEL, she is passionate about her faith, family, friends and fitness.
“There is nothing more important to me than my family and friends,” she said. “And I feel passionately about personal fitness to strengthen the mind and body.”
She is married to Anthony, who is a Catholic school principal, and together they have two sons, Sean and Luke. As a family, they enjoy reading, puzzles, hiking, swimming, eating a variety of foods, growing in their garden, and spending time together.