Father Mark Connell

Executive Director, Director of Graduate Success Program, Rowing Coach
Administration, Board of Trustees
Father Mark Connell is Executive Director of San Miguel Program. He also serves as Director of the Graduate Success Program and head coach of the San Miguel Rowing program. Upon ordination in 1986, Father Mark was assigned as parochial vicar at Holy Family Church in New Rochelle for two and a half years, after which time Cardinal John O’Connor asked him to join the faculty at John F. Kennedy High School in Somers. Simultaneously, Fr. Mark became a weekend assistant at the Church of St. John and St. Mary in Chappaqua where he remained for 27 years. In 1998, Fr. Mark became chaplain and the director of campus ministry at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh where he was also an adjunct professor in philosophy and theology, specializing in the Jewish/ Catholic dialogue. After living in Newburgh for six years, Fr. Mark envisioned a meaningful educational option for the children of Newburgh. That dream became a reality when San Miguel Academy opened its doors in 2006. Today, San Miguel Program is pioneering new strategies for low-income urban learners while creating post-primary school options for under-served boys and girls, with 100% entering 9th grade on time and more than 70% attending private day or boarding school. Of high school alumni, 97% graduate on time and 90% opt in for higher education. Over 250 families have benefited from a San Miguel education with more families being added each year. Education equality and breaking the cycle of poverty through education are at the forefront of everything Fr. Mark does for San Miguel Program. Father Mark was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. He attended Poughkeepsie High School and later entered Cathedral College. Father Mark has earned a Masters of Divinity, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Doctor of Theology from Drew University. He lives in Newburgh with his two dogs, Brady and K.T.