April 4, 2016 — Father Dennis Baker, SJ, has been appointed as the next director of Xavier High School in Chuuk, Micronesia. Fr. Baker’s term will begin on July 1.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Fr. Baker graduated from Canisius High School in Buffalo and earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2002 from Fordham University. He entered the Society of Jesus in 2004, and first came to Xavier High School in Chuuk as a novice to teach for six months.
Fr. Baker earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University in 2009 and was then missioned to Xavier High School in Manhattan, where he taught history and coached basketball and baseball. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 2015.
Fr. Robert Pecoraro, SJ, Xavier High’s current director, will step down for health reasons. Fr. Pecoraro started his role at Xavier in 2014 and has been an invaluable leader thanks to his financial leadership and his efforts in teacher recruitment and identifying scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors. “We will miss him a great deal, and he has assured me of his continued prayers and his commitment to Xavier and its mission in the years to come,” said Rodney Jacob, the chair of Xavier’s board of directors.
Located in Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Xavier High School has been providing a Jesuit education for students from the island nations of the FSM, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau since 1952. The mission of Xavier High School is to educate students to be competent, conscientious and compassionate leaders whose lives are guided by the Christian call of service.