L.A. Archdiocese Appoints New Superintendent of Schools
August 19, 2019  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

–Paul M. Escala will lead the nation’s largest system of Catholic schools–

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced today that Paul M. Escala will serve as the new Superintendent of Catholic Schools overseeing the more than 200 elementary and high schools spanning the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles serving more than 78,000 students in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

“Mr. Escala shares my strong commitment to academic excellence and educating our young people to know and love and follow Jesus Christ,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “He also shares my deep desire to make Catholic education available to every Catholic child, especially those in our highest need communities.”

Escala joins the Archdiocese with a career spanning twenty years leading institutions across the educational spectrum in California – district, charter and private.  He has served as Chief of Staff to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board Member Mike Lansing; Chief of Staff to California Secretary for Education Richard J. Riordan; Director of LAUSD Joint Use Development; senior consultant with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education; and, Director of Operations for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, among others. 

“Since 1851, the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have been a part of the fabric of Southern California,” said Escala. “The opportunity to impact thousands of students is a great privilege and I look forward to working with our entire community to ensure this ministry thrives for generations to come.”

Most recently, Escala has led Grimmway Schools to accelerated growth – building a new campus and doubling enrollment; financing $25MM in construction bonds; attracting over $4M in philanthropic investment; and, student academic performance outpacing local and state peers.  Prior to his role with Grimmway Schools, Escala served as president and CEO of St. John Bosco High School where he led a turn-around effort that has made the school one of the most prominent Catholic high schools in the United States.

Escala begins his new post today and succeeds Dr. Kevin Baxter who has been named Chief Innovation Officer of the National Catholic Education Association.

Escala was profiled in Angelus, the Archdiocese’s weekly magazine, to learn more about his background and his vision for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, please visit https://angelusnews.com/news/tom-hoffarth/new-la-catholic-schools-chief-i-knew-god-would-call-me-back  

“With the opportunity to lead a Department of Catholic Schools serving almost 80,000 students, this position garnered interest from proven executives across the country and from varied backgrounds” said Search Committee Chair, Bruce Willison, Dean Emeritus of UCLA Anderson. “Paul’s experience, strong leadership traits and empathy for the teachers and students earned him the appointment”.

A native of Los Angeles, Escala is a product of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, attending Holy Trinity school in San Pedro, St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower and Loyola Marymount University.  He is a graduate of Cornell University, a Fellow at the Pahara-Aspen Institute, member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, advisory board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and board member of DaVinci RISE High School (Los Angeles). 

He recently relocated to Los Angeles with his wife, Noel, and two sons, William and Matthew.

Established more than 100 years ago, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are the largest provider of faith-based education in the nation serving over 78,000 students. Statewide, Catholic schools save California over $2 billion in educational funding each year. To learn more on Catholic Education visit lacatholicschools.org and follow instagram.com/catholicedla and facebook.com/catholicedla.


The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org. Follow us on social media at LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez are also available.