By Mike DeNardo and Pat Ciarrocchi

READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 6-Year-Old Sahara Little After Car Stolen Outside Germantown Pizza Shop

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The independent foundation now running Philadelphia-area Catholic high schools has hired its first CEO.

Samuel “Casey” Carter is the new chief executive for “Faith in the Future,” the foundation running 17 local Catholic high schools (see related story).

Carter, 46, is a national education consultant who has studied Catholic, charter, and public schools.

READ MORE: North Philadelphia Community Welcomes Home 3-Year-Old Boy After Hit-And-Run That Also Killed Mother

“There’s nothing inevitable about the closing of Catholic schools,” he says, “and in fact what we’re going to do is just change the ending.”

Foundation chair Ed Hanway says they were led to Carter by a national search that highlighted “his consulting background,  where he has had to go in and look at schools and understand their strengths and their weaknesses, and his national reputation.”

The foundation has a $100-million fundraising goal over five years.  $15 million has been raised so far, and Hanway is hoping the announcement of a CEO will kickstart donations.


MORE NEWS: 3 People Shot Inside Bar In Philadelphia's Holmesburg Section, Police Say