'People will follow his lead.' Tom Coppola '01 begins tenure as 25th principal of CHS

CHS Staff

Tom Coppola ’01 and Andrea-Tyrpak-Endres are pictured in classroom 1E2, where she taught him religion as a freshman, sophomore and junior. 


Tom Coppola '01 began his tenure as principal and executive vice president for academics at Canisius High School on Friday. The Dean of Students at Canisius for the last eight years, he is the 25th principal in the history of our 152-year-old institution.

This fall, Andrea Tyrpak-Endres will return to teaching, help administer the CHS House System and mentor new teachers following eight years as principal. The first female to hold the role at Canisius, she matches Rev. Lorenzo K. Reed, S.J., (1940-48) for the longest tenure of a CHS principal. 

This is her final "From The Principal's Office" message written for CHS Today magazine. It was published in the current Spring issue. 



I think Tom Coppola might be the only student I ever taught for three years. Certainly, he was one of the only ones because I went from teaching freshmen and juniors to sophomores and juniors, and he just kind of fell all the way through. By junior year, we both knew each other well – including how to push each other's buttons. But he was always a very good kid and a very good student. 

I was really happy when he wanted to come back to Canisius to teach. I thought he would be great at it, which he was. He has been a strong Dean of Students, and I think he will make a tremendous principal. 

A generation before mine, it was common for people to come to a job after completing their education and stay there until they retired. Canisius was no exception – it’s what kept traditions alive. This is so rare today. To see someone like Tom Coppola, who wants to pay it forward by doing that, makes me very hopeful for the future.

Tom has first-rate abilities and qualities. I have always thought that, but COVID proved it. He did a phenomenal job leading our response to the pandemic, right from Day One. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve seen this school face.

People don't remember that in the early days of the pandemic, things were literally changing by the week and then by the day – making it essential to constantly pivot and say to the entire school community, “OK, now we're gonna do this” and days later, “now we need to do that.” Of course, there was a lot of collaboration and it was a team effort, but you still needed somebody to lead. Tom was that leader. 

Tom has an exceptional rapport with students and he has a solid memory of his days as a student here. He does a great job in speaking to and dealing with the kids with the understanding of what it's like to be a student here – and making that real on their terms, in their day, at their level. It is so important to have someone who understands Canisius and understands our students. Tom does both.

Tom is good-natured and has a great personality. He is very open to people. I think that openness will be a real positive in his new position. Tom is just a very good soul. He’s not a people-pleaser, but he likes things to be harmonious, and he'll work to keep things running smoothly. Nothing about him is fake or fabricated. He is genuine. That will be a strong point. 

People will follow his lead.


Ms. Andrea Tyrpak-Endres

Awards ceremony highlights another great HAP summer

Rising eighth graders from all over Western New York completed our Higher Achievement Program Friday as the four-week multifaceted experience concluded with our awards ceremony.

Friday’s awards ceremony was highlighted with the naming of Mr. HAP 2022: Ka’Ron Gentry of Buffalo and Nativity Miguel School’s St. Augustine Campus.

Requiescat in Pace, Charles 'Chip' Jones ‘74

We mourn the loss of Chip, a successful businessman with a long history of service to Canisius High School and several other Western New York community groups.

A former chair of the CHS Board of Trustees and an inductee into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor, he embraced he Jesuit motto of being a "Man for Others" by serving on the boards of many charities and organizations.

National Honor Society induction among highlights of Junior Awards Ceremony

Several distinguished honors and the 2022 induction to Canisius's Robert Bellarmine Chapter of the National Honor Society highlighted Tuesday’s Junior Awards Ceremony in the historic Scaccia Auditorium.

"This past week, we celebrated and bid farewell to the class of 2022," said Principal Andrea Tyrpak-Endres. "Today, we gather to highlight the achievements of our rising seniors, to celebrate the accomplishments of our new student leaders – the class of 2023."

Military appointments among scores of students honored at Senior Awards Ceremony

Tuesday’s Senior Awards Ceremony honored scores of members of the Class of 2022, which collectively has earned more than $21 million in college scholarships and grants.  

Students attending service academies, earning national honors and school-wide recognition for a wide range of activities and achievements were honored before their parents and schoolmates in the historic Scaccia Auditorium.

Victor Mazzara named Mr. Canisius 2022

The 61st Mr. Canisius was announced by principal Ms. Andrea Tyrpak-Endres during this morning's senior awards.

These are the words of Mr. Canisius 2022 upon being nominated:

"I am beyond thankful for the formative role the entire Canisius community has played in my life. No longer am I the shy, anxious kid that walked through the Blue Doors in 2018 ... 

Peter Reiser ’84 named dean of students at Canisius

Peter Reiser ’84, who has 22 years of experience in Jesuit education, including six of those here at Canisius, has been named dean of students at Canisius High School, Principal Andrea Tyrpak-Endres announced Monday morning.

Reiser was the director of college counseling at Canisius from 2000 to 2006. He has spent the last 16 years at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado.

Finalists announced for 2022 Mr. Canisius award

The Mr. Canisius Award is presented annually to the graduating senior who, in the estimation of his peers, epitomizes all that Canisius stands for. 

Read the reflections written by the 2022 finalists about their time at Canisius and what it means to be a candidate for this award.