Principal Tricia Rooney - Faculty Spotlight

Principal Tricia Rooney joined Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School in August 2021. Following her first role as a teacher in 1995, Tricia’s 3- decade career in education led to leadership roles in the Philadelphia and Camden School Districts and, most recently, at Bishop McDevitt High School, where she worked as a principal for four years. 
Tricia holds a Bachelor of Science in education from St. Joseph’s University, a Master’s in Special Education, and a Principal Certification from Holy Family University.
The four years of operational experience Tricia gained while working as a principal within the Philadelphia Archdiocese allowed her to focus on getting to know the Bonner & Prendie community within her first year. 
“I am spending my first year observing and learning about the Bonner & Prendie school community. I wanted to understand how the school presently operates before making any changes,” Tricia shared.
In her first year, Tricia felt instantly welcomed and supported by students, faculty, staff, and administrators. At the start of her second year as Principal, Tricia is ready to improve and revitalize programs like the partnership with Delaware County Community College (DCCC).
Bonner & Prendie’s partnership with DCCC began three years ago. In that time, 16 students have taken classes at DCCC, and one student has earned an Associates degree before graduating high school. In its present form, students must take all DCCC electives and Associate degree classes outside of the traditional school day, but Tricia hopes to change this soon. 
“I would like to strengthen our partnership with DCCC so that our students can take advantage of dual enrollment by taking one class that counts towards their high school graduation requirement and their Associate’s degree,” Tricia explained. “I want to streamline courses that will count towards both degrees to save students time and money.”
Tricia also aims to create “student pathways” for students enrolled in the dual degree program with DCCC. The idea is to give students enrolled in the program the option of three tracks towards earning an Associate degree in either business, health, or general studies. The pathways are not defined yet since Tricia hopes to solicit the feedback of students to finalize the plan.
Tricia also envisions creating one flat tuition for students to complete their Associate’s degree while attending Bonner & Prendie. Students residing in Delaware County currently pay a reduced rate compared to those living in another county. Tricia hopes to offer a flat rate to all Bonner & Prendie students, so students living in Philadelphia or Upper Darby pay the same rate.
Next year, Bonner & Prendie aims to enroll the first cohort of students in the dual-enrollment program with DCCC. Students can either drive on their own or take the school van to the Upper Darby campus for classes. Soon, Tricia hopes students can walk next door to take electives not currently offered by Bonner & Prendie, such as Mandarin, at DCCC. When DCCC completely rehabilitates the Prendie Building in a few years, this will only strengthen the partnership between the two schools.
Since Covid, high school students across the country are wondering about the benefit of attending college in person. Is it right for them? Is it worth the investment?” Tricia said. “As a result, enrollment in four-year colleges is down, while online enrollment at community colleges is up. Today’s students are more conscious than ever of the cost vs. benefit of college.”
Tricia recognizes that Bonner & Prendie’s dual- enrollment partnership with Delaware County Community College is a golden opportunity for all parties involved. “I have two daughters in college, so I understand that students need space to explore fields to find the best fit. This program allows students to determine if college is right for them while still completing their high school degree.”
Bonner & Prendie’s partnership with DCCC makes college accessible and affordable for first-generation college students. It also makes Bonner & Prendie more competitive in the market since it is the only Philadelphia Archdiocesan high school to offer this opportunity. The best part is that if students decide to pursue a four-year degree, all credits transfer.
Tricia explained, “This is a win/win partnership for all involved. Students will save time and money, our teachers can teach at the collegiate level, and DCCC will play a pivotal role in removing the barriers many students face when considering college. At the same time, Bonner & Prendie can provide electives and opportunities that meet the evolving needs of our students.”
To ensure students can participate in the dual- enrollment program regardless of financial means, Tricia is working with the Advancement Office to identify scholarship opportunities. To learn more about how you can help, contact the Advancement Office at [email protected] or 610.259.6012.