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John Darnell


“My experience knowing students makes me want to make this education available to my children and to any other children who desire it. My experience with the quality of faculty has been incredible – I want to help support the impressive team St. Ambrose has in place.”

St. Ambrose Academy welcomes John Darnell to the Board of Directors!

John is excited to become more involved in the Academy, after being introduced to the mission through his wife Tara, shortly after moving to Madison several years ago. Getting to know St. Ambrose Guardians enrolled at the school over the years has prompted John to become more involved in the mission, also motivated by his desire to make this education available to his young children, Kateri, Rosemary, Magdalene, Thomas, Michael, and baby #6 due in spring 2024.

Catholic education has played a significant role in his own life, helping him to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. John attended the University of Notre Dame, earning a bachelor’s in economics and mathematics, followed by a masters of education through the university’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.

Following graduation, he taught religion and math in an inner-city Catholic school in Montgomery, AL through ACE before moving to Madison. Once in Wisconsin, John took a role at Epic where he continues to work in technical services. He brings extensive management experience, overseeing teams up to 110 people and has had roles as an account executive and digital experience strategic advisor.

The Darnells are members of St. Christopher Parish, where John serves on the Pastoral Council and as a member of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society chapter. In his free time, you can find John bringing his “A” game on the golf course or enjoying a game of chess.

Though his time in the classroom was shorter than he imagined, John looks forward to continuing to support Catholic education through his role at St. Ambrose. We are grateful to have his many gifts being applied to the shared goal of offering young people the best Catholic classical environment possible.