The East Meadow native named to head the Diocese of Rockville Centre's 28,000-student school system starting July 1 is not taking the job after all.
Christopher Marblo, president of The Arts Center of the Capital Region in upstate Troy, said in a statement Friday that "it became clear in the course of my transition that my educational philosophy could conflict with that of the diocese. The honorable and best course of action for me and for the diocese was for me to step aside quickly, which I have done."
The appointment of Marblo, 54, as chief executive of the Catholic school system was announced Feb. 25 after the diocese conducted a nationwide search. He was among more than 80 applicants for the job.
The diocese, in a statement, said, "After further conversation about the position of chief executive officer of the Education Department of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the diocese and Christopher Marblo have mutually agreed not to pursue their relationship any further."
The diocese did not immediately provide specifics on what led to the decision.
Spokesman Sean Dolan said, "Mr. Marblo is a talented educator and administrator, and we regret that we have come to this mutual decision. It is, however, the right decision for the diocese and for Mr. Marblo. We wish him well. The diocese's search to fill the position will continue."
Marblo did not return messages seeking comment. In his statement, he said, "I am a proud Catholic and was honored to have been offered the position."
Marblo was to succeed Sister Joanne Callahan, who is stepping down as superintendent of schools July 1 after 22 years. Under the plan for transference of leadership, Callahan was to take a new position of secretary of education and advise Marblo for an indefinite period.
Dolan said the diocese will restart the search process for a new chief executive.
The 57-school system has seen turbulent times and faces the prospect of continuing enrollment declines, as do schools across Long Island. In 2011, the diocese closed six elementary schools, provoking an uproar among many parents.
When Marblo's appointment was announced last month, the diocese said he brought "diverse and deep expertise in education, administration, marketing, fund raising, strategic and fiscal management, leadership, constituent relations and institutional advocacy."
At that time, Bishop William Murphy said Marblo "is the kind of guy who is going to carry this the right way" forward.
Marblo, who graduated from a public high school upstate and went to a Catholic college for his bachelor's degree, has been head of private secular schools in Manhattan and in Maryland that serve prekindergarten through eighth grade.
The nonprofit Arts Center of the Capital Region, where he currently works, has arts classes, camps, exhibits and performances, as well as support for artists.