Marist School Welcomes New President

The Marist School community is thrilled to extend a warm welcome to our new president, Mr. J. D. Childs. His appointment marks a significant milestone in our school's 122-year history, as he steps into the role of Marist’s first lay president, succeeding Father Bill Rowland, S.M. After an extensive global search, Mr. Childs was selected as the ideal candidate to guide Marist into a new era of excellence in forming young people in the image of Christ. Mr. Childs began his role at Marist School on July 1, 2023.
Hailing from South Bend, Indiana, Mr. Childs brings with him to Marist a wealth of experience and proven commitment to the values of Catholic education. In his previous position as president at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California, he provided mission-inspired and charism-charged leadership. Under his guidance, Bishop O'Dowd saw the successful completion of a $40 million capital campaign for the construction of a new building, as well as $4 million in capital enhancements to the campus. He also worked collaboratively with dedicated faculty and staff to implement rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum.

Commitment to academic excellence and spiritual growth is also evident in Mr. Childs' prior roles, where he served as president and principal of Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School and as a religion teacher and director of spiritual life at Catholic schools in Indiana and North Carolina. Mr. Childs earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, Philosophy, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he also pursued a Master of Theological Studies in Systematic Theology. He also holds a Master of Education in Catholic School Leadership from Marymount University. Mr. Childs has co-authored two books and several articles on imaginative teaching in high school religion classes.

Beyond his professional achievements, Mr. Childs is a devoted husband to his wife, Kate, and loving father to their four children, including current Marist student Luke Childs ’26. His interests encompass a wide range of pursuits, including poetry, art, chess, hiking, and concerts—all of which he enjoys sharing with his family.

The transition from religious to lay leadership marks a momentous occasion for Marist School. In partnership with the Marist School Board of Trustees, Mr. Childs assumes the responsibility of preserving and enriching our school's rich tradition of excellence in Catholic education. As he leads us forward, Mr. Childs will ensure that our distinctive Marist spirit and values will continue to shine brightly.

As Father Bill Rowland, S.M., steps down as Marist's president, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for his dedicated leadership. We are also excited that he will continue to guide us in his new role as Rector, upholding the Catholic emphasis and Marist philosophy of education that define our mission.

In the words of Society of Mary U.S. Provincial Father Joseph Hindelang, S.M., "The hiring of J.D. Childs as our new school president, combined with Father Rowland’s ongoing involvement, ensures Marist School will continue to be in excellent hands."

We are honored and thrilled to welcome Mr. Childs into our Marist family. Together, we look forward to embracing the legacy of our past while forging ahead into the future under his leadership.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers