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James Fiore Named The Loyola School’s Second President

Contact: Dennis O’Shea (volunteer)
443-766-9998 /

James Fiore, a veteran nonprofit leader with long experience in Jesuit education, has been appointed the second president of The Loyola School, a growing Jesuit preschool and elementary that serves low-income Baltimore City families, the board of trustees announced.

Fiore, most recently chief operating officer of Next One Up, will succeed the Rev. William J. Watters, S.J., the school’s founder and first president, on March 4.

“James has focused throughout his career on helping the young people of Baltimore succeed, in academics and in life,” said Joseph C. Lombard, TLS trustee chair. “Like Father Watters and his brother Jesuits, James is dedicated to the care and development of the whole person: mind, body, heart and soul.”

The Loyola School, located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, opened in 2017 as a preschool and has added one grade level each year. It will reach full size in 2025, with 200 students from age 2 through fourth grade. Benefactors provide scholarships for TLS students, who come from 21 Baltimore City ZIP codes and from families averaging less than $33,000 annual income.

In addition to its original preschool facility at Calvert and Madison streets, TLS will soon open an elementary facility comprising renovated historic townhomes on Madison Street and new construction behind them. The facility will open this summer.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with the families who entrust their children to The Loyola School, the staff and administrators who dedicate themselves to their students, and the board of trustees who provide their support for this vision,” Fiore said.

“It is a blessing to return to the Jesuits’ mission and to promote their educational ideals within The Loyola School community. I look forward to working with The Loyola School and greater Baltimore communities as TLS continues to grow, flourish and become a model program for others.”

Fiore in 2019 became COO of Next One Up, a nonprofit that focuses on mentorship and on the academic, social and athletic development of young men in Baltimore City. Among many other responsibilities, he has helped grow NOU to reach more Baltimore youth, spearheaded a strategic plan to expand it to a seven-day-a-week service provider and overseen the opening of its first dedicated program facility, the NOU Base Camp at Belvedere Square. 

Previously, Fiore served at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, a middle school and, founded in 1993, the first of three Baltimore educational institutions created by Watters to serve families of limited means. (Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, founded in 2007, is the third.)

Fiore was a St. Ignatius Loyola Academy teacher, coach and advisor and then, for 10 years, its graduate support director. In that role, he and his staff supported academy alumni as they moved into, through and beyond high school.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with students at TLS at such a young age and to help them lay the foundations for their future,” Fiore said. “Their eight years in our school will set them up for success in middle school, in high school and on whatever post-secondary path they choose. It’s exciting.”

Fiore joined St. Ignatius Loyola Academy as an AmeriCorps teaching intern in 2006, upon graduation from Villanova University.

“I was fortunate to find St. Ignatius as a college senior who was looking for ways to give back to the community and do something meaningful,” he said. “The plan was to do that for two years and then pursue a different career. But the mission and the Jesuit educational ideals were so attractive that I couldn’t leave.

“I have become part of this community and have loved learning the rich history of Baltimore City through the families and students I served at the academy and at Next One Up.”

Fiore, who earned a master’s degree in education administration and supervision at Loyola University Maryland, has known and admired Watters since joining St. Ignatius Loyola Academy.

“He’s an innovator and a transformational leader,” Fiore said. “He saw a need for these schools, for these three institutions, and started building them 30 years ago, reimagining Jesuit education in this city. It’s inspiring. I don’t know how else to describe him but as a Man for Others.”

Watters, who turns 90 on March 1, will become president emeritus of The Loyola School and has said he will remain available to serve the school in whatever way he is needed.

The Loyola School is an initiative of St. Ignatius Catholic Community, a Roman Catholic parish in Mount Vernon, and of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order of Catholic priests and brothers. Though Catholic and guided by Jesuit educational philosophy, TLS accepts students from a wide range of faith traditions.