New leader selected at Canisius High School

Apr 23, 2015

After a tumultuous  school year, Canisius High School in Buffalo will have a new leader.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Rev. David Ciancimino, a former Canisius principal and board of trustee member.  

Outside Canisius High School on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Jesuit priest will succeed Father Joseph Costaninto who resigned following an uproar over the firing of the schools dean of students for the discipline of a football player.

The board did not conduct a presidential search.  But Board chairman Robert Reger   tells WBFO News Father Ciancimino served as school principal from 1992-1997, and is well-known and well-liked among the school community.  

"There was an alignment of the stars in the sense that Father Ciancimino was known to many, many parts of the Canisius Community and was extremely well-regarded," said Reger.  "He has roots that are in Buffalo, New York.  He's a very, very heavily credential and well-regarded Jesuit leader." 

Rev. David Ciancimino

Fr. Ciancimino is a graduate of Fordham University and the Weston School of Theology (Cambridge, MA), with master’s degrees in theology and divinity. He holds a New York State certification in secondary education administration earned at Canisius College. He also served on the Canisius College Board of Trustees from 2007-09.  Ciamcimino was a former religion, Spanish, and French teacher at Canisius and once served as director of admissions.

“I am very happy to return to Canisius High School and work again with so many terrific teachers in a community where CHS alumni maintain very close ties to the school,” Fr. Ciancimino said. “Since I was last here, I have had responsibilities that took me across the country and, at times, around the world. This is a return home of sorts for me and I am looking forward to strengthening Canisius’ mission of educating and forming men for others.”

Fr. Ciancimino also is the former was headmaster of his alma mater, Xavier High School in New York City.  He was then appointed assistant to the Jesuit provincial from 2004-08 and became provincial superior for a six-year term beginning in 2008. 

“Over the last several weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with CHS trustees, parents, and members of the faculty, staff, student body, and alumni. Through all of these gatherings, I have come away impressed and re-energized by the passion and commitment to the school’s mission and legacy that all possess,” he said. “I am enthusiastic and eager to begin working closely with the school community.”

Father Ciancimino takes over June first as the 35th president. The troubled school year led to some school policy reforms regarding for athletics and admissions.  

Reger reflected on the past school year challenges 'Certainly this year has been incredibility successful for us, at the same time we've had a bunch of important challenges. I'm looking forward to a point and time when all the cylinders at Canisius are running on positive at the same time. 

Reger said he believes Ciamimino will renew the leadership for the all boys, private Jesuit High School. 

The troubled school year led to some school policy reforms regarding for athetlics and admissions.