Archbishop Carroll’s new president looking forward to returning home there
June 7, 2018
His life in education has come full circle for Larry Savoy Jr., who graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington in 1993, returned as an administrator and teacher there for 14 years from 1997-2011, and as of July 1, will return as Carroll’s new president.
“Everybody’s ready to come back home,” he said in a May 24 interview. “…It’s emotional, walking through the hallways where I went to class” and over the years served in many roles, including as vice principal for student affairs, dean of students and activities director, a drama and public speaking instructor, director of the summer school program, interim admissions director and attendance officer.
Archbishop Carroll’s new president added, “I’m excited about tomorrow, about what tomorrow will be, helping people understand Carroll pride is here to stay.”
The school’s sports teams are nicknamed the Lions, and over the years to foster school spirit, students often decorate the fence surrounding the football field that borders North Capitol Street with the phrase “Carroll Pride,” to encourage pride in the Lions and in their school. Savoy hopes to continue to build that spirit among students, alumni, families and members of the community for the college preparatory, coeducational Catholic high school sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, which offers the International Baccalaureate academic program for students.
Savoy, a native of Washington, D.C., is now 43. He grew up Catholic in the Seat Pleasant area in suburban Maryland and attended the Church of the Incarnation in the nation’s capital, where he was mentored by Josephite Father Joe Del Vecchio, a longtime Washington-area parish priest who helped lead the archdiocese’s Office of Youth Ministry for many years.
“He instilled in me the importance of faith and to be a social justice change agent, to be that voice for people who don’t have one. That’s something that will always stay with me,” Savoy said.
With the priest’s encouragement, Savoy entered Archbishop Carroll High School as a freshman in 1989, when Carroll transitioned to a coeducational school, and his graduating class was the first to have boys and girls as classmates for all four years.
“My experience was great. I absolutely loved it. To be in an environment that was faith-filled was extremely important to me and my family,” he said. He added that he appreciated Carroll’s “sense of family, the sense of a place you could be proud of. They say if you went to Carroll, you bleed green and gold,” the school’s colors.
As a student at Carroll, Savoy played baseball and soccer, sang in the choir, and acted in the theater program, including in the school’s annual Christmas and spring shows. “Being able to get up on stage and express myself was fun,” he said.
He also credited the school’s social justice teacher, Robert Hoderny, with instilling students with a lifelong commitment to serve others. Hoderny, who died in 1996, played a key role in organizing the school’s service program, where students volunteered in area soup kitchens and took part in Carroll’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which continues as one of the largest student-led food collections in the country. Carroll students continue to learn about Catholic social justice teaching in Hoderny’s former classroom at the school, which is named in his honor.
After graduating from Archbishop Carroll High School, Savoy earned a bachelor of arts in theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, with a concentration in education. At Temple, he acted in productions including Shakespeare’s classic play Macbeth, and he also played baseball on the university’s team.
Savoy said he was drawn to a career in education after working as a drama counselor in the summer of 1994 at St. Vincent’s Children’s Home in Philadelphia, a transitional home for foster kids. “I really felt this was what I needed to be doing, working with young people,” he said.
He returned to Archbishop Carroll after graduating from Temple in 1997, first serving as an attendance officer, and then working in a variety of teaching and administrative roles, where he experienced many different aspects of the school’s operation, from teaching in the classroom to working on disciplinary matters to helping to direct its facility management efforts. Over the years, he also directed plays at the school and coached its baseball team, and from 2006-11, he was Carroll’s vice principal for student affairs.
“I got to see and learn different positions in a place I was familiar,” he said.
While working at Archbishop Carroll, Savoy earned a master’s degree in school administration from Trinity Washington University, where his wife, Dr. Taryn Savoy, also went through that program. She now serves as principal at Yorktown Elementary School in Bowie. The Savoys have three daughters and attend Ascension Parish in Bowie. Their oldest daughter, Bria Savoy, graduated from Archbishop Carroll in 2014 and graduated this year from Towson University with a psychology degree. Kyla Savoy, their middle daughter, will be following in her mother’s footsteps and attending Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg this fall. Their youngest daughter, Mikayla Savoy, will be a rising fourth grader at Yorktown Elementary School.
From 2011-12, Larry Savoy served as principal at St. Michael the Archangel School in Silver Spring, which had to suspend operations at the end of that school year due to financial and enrollment challenges.
Savoy said that experience was “very sad,” and he relied on “my faith that God had a plan for me ultimately.” He worked hard to place St. Michael’s students in nearby Catholic schools.
The educator then began a six-year stint as principal at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, where he has served until his appointment as Carroll’s new president. Cristo Rey, which opened in 2007, serves low-income families and offers a Corporate Work Study Program, where students gain experience working at businesses and institutions and help pay for their tuition costs. All of Cristo Rey’s graduates have been accepted into college, and most of them are part of the first generation of their families to attend higher education.
Savoy said at Cristo Rey it has been inspiring for him “to see that those students are going to college and making a difference… Education is the ultimate change agent.”
One of the things that Savoy said he has appreciated most about working in Catholic education is “having God at the center of everything I do,” and also being able to talk about God at school. “It changes the situation with parents, and it changes the situation with students,” he said.
Over the years as a Catholic school teacher and administrator, he said he has learned “you can have a big impact on students,” helping them “value education and to know God is in control. We have to have that foundation.”
Now as Carroll’s president, Savoy said, “My focus will be to continue to spread the good news about Archbishop Carroll. We’re putting young people into college and preparing productive citizens for this life” and, he added, ultimately guiding them on a path to heaven.
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