Padua Names Interim Principal, New Vice Principal

March 1st, 2021 | News, News 2021

Bob DiRocco has been named interim principal of Padua Franciscan High School for the 2021-2022 school year. He joined Padua in 2008 as a Theology teacher, campus minister and coach. He is currently serving as the assistant principal of young men. DiRocco will replace Principal David Stec ’86, who is moving into the role of Padua president in July.

Prior to working at Padua, DiRocco spent 15 years as an administrator and teacher at St. Peter Chanel High School. He is eager to take on this new role.

“I have been blessed to work with some outstanding high school principals during my 28 year career,” DiRocco said. “These men of faith have shown me what it means to be a leader in Catholic education. Their examples fill me with humility, but also with confidence. Mostly, I am excited to continue to work with such wonderful members of the Padua family, where I have developed deep, lasting relationships these past 13 years.”

DiRocco earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from John Carroll University and his Master of Science in educational administration from the University of Scranton.

Elizabeth Oles Smith has been named Padua’s next vice principal. She has been serving as the assistant principal of young women for four years. Before that, she taught English at Padua for 10 years. Oles Smith will replace Br. Tom Carroll, ofm, who has accepted a new role with the Franciscans on the east coast.

“I feel honored to be given the opportunity to advance my professional career at a school that is so special to me and my family,” said Oles Smith. “This is a wonderful community full of love and support, and I am very fortunate to be a part of it.”

Oles Smith received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Notre Dame College and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Ursuline College.

“It’s been a joy to watch them both develop into incredible administrators,” said Stec. “Their ability to create an academic vision for the future and to understand the Franciscan charisms will keep Padua growing as a premier school in Northeast Ohio.”

Both DiRocco and Oles Smith are family-oriented and have ties to Padua. DiRocco has been married to his wife Kim for 26 years and his daughter Rosie ’17 is a Padua alumna. Oles Smith is married to Padua alumnus Ken Smith ’03. The pair met years ago at the Turkey Bowl. They are parents to two future Bruins, Declan ’33 and Estella ’34.