John Mulhorn Brings Legacy of Education Experience to New Role on Board of Trustees
John Mulhorn grew up surrounded by educators. Throughout his life he was always connected to friends and family members who had dedicated their careers to helping students in Salem and developing the next generation of leaders. Today, John is the principal of Salem High School (SHS) and continues to provide students with tools for success to achieve their dreams of attending college.
John’s mother in particular has played an instrumental part as his biggest role model and inspiration. In a time when many professions were predominantly male, John’s mother held critical leadership roles including as a superintendent herself, as well as president of Salem Community College.
“I looked up to her quite a bit. I also had a number of teachers when I was in school who inspired me to become a teacher,” John said. “I looked into business but learned that I really wanted to make an impact on students’ lives. Through encouragement of people like current Salem Community College President Michael Gorman, Ed.D., and my former teachers, I got back into education. I really wanted to enjoy what I did for a living. That’s how I got into it, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”
One of the many rewards of being a high school principal according to John is watching students learn and succeed year after year. At SHS, a variety of extracurricular activities and rigorous academic classes support and encourage students to discover and pursue a variety of different college and career paths. Through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and various Advanced Placement courses SHS offers, students are in a unique position to get a head start on preparing for college.
“There can be so many obstacles before even getting to college. One of the biggest obstacles is how to navigate finances,” John said. “Sometimes even an enrollment or application fee could be hundreds of dollars, and that could be a road block. But fortunately, we have a lot of generous people around who assist kids. It’s been something I’ve really enjoyed at SHS because every day you come to Salem and you feel like you’re doing something. You’re giving back to the community, you’re helping kids, and helping to change their lives. That’s why I have dedicated myself to Salem City School District.”
As principal of SHS, John places great value in his role on the Board of Trustees of the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation because he observes first-hand how hard students work in the classroom. He looks forward to continuing to maximize opportunities provided by the Foundation to directly support and benefit students so they can achieve more and be in control of their futures.
“A lot of times students are told they can't go to college solely because they cannot afford it. We are so lucky for organizations like the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation that provide educational support and finances to make college opportunities accessible for students,” John said. “They make these kids’ dreams a reality. It’s really exciting to me because I grew up in a family of people that had the opportunity to attend college. I know that when you have a diploma, you have choices and opportunities. With these opportunities, kids don’t have to feel limited in their options and potential.”
Even though John loves his time spent at his job, in his spare time he enjoys spending time at the Delaware River with his wife and four children.