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Podcast: Spotlight on Leadership -- Meet Father Ed

The renowned headmaster of Saint Benedict’s Prep on success with his students

While we're on winter hiatus we'll be publishing podcasts of some of the most compelling and challenging sessions from our October NJ Spotlight On Cities conference, as well as a podcast diary of a colleague who is struggling with breast cancer.

Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School has received national attention as a model for education and at-risk youth. Many credit the school’s success to the work of its longtime headmaster, Edwin Leahy, better known to many as “Father Ed.” Some 550 young men in grades 7 through 12 attend the school, with about 65 of them living in a residence hall on the property.

In this conversation, Leahy talks at length about his experiences running the school, shares some real-life stories, relates the unique challenges and opportunities of an all-boys school that serves urban communities, and the stresses the importance of “trying to understand people’s reality.”


This conversation with Leahy was one of many sessions convened at this year’s inaugural NJ Spotlight On Cities conference. Now we’re gearing up for our second year, to be held in the fall. What are the big issues facing cities that we should be focusing on? Do you know of an organization that’s doing wonderful things in a New Jersey city? Or an idea that’s taken root in another American city that New Jersey might try? Or a speaker that we absolutely should know about? Tell us about it by emailing us at

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