Recently Completed Searches
St. Dominic Savio High School and Holy Family Catholic School
After an extensive national search that attracted numerous highly qualified candidates, the Diocese of Austin is thrilled to announce that Timothy Cullen will serve as the next President of St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School and Holy Family Catholic School in Austin, TX, effective July 2021. A product of Catholic schools, Tim began his career as a Special Education teacher before moving on to County Administrator and District Administrator roles at schools in Ohio. He later became Superintendent of K-12 Bishop Hoffman Catholic School in Freemont, Ohio before taking on the Head of School position at K-12 St. Anthony School in Maui, Hawaii.
St. Anthony High School
Long Beach, CA
In January 2021 after the announcement of the retirement St. Anthony's long-time President, the Department of Catholic Schools hired Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions and launched a rigorous nationwide search for a new president. The search process has now concluded, and the Department of Catholic Schools is excited to announce that upon the unanimous recommendation of the search committee, Michael Brennan has been appointed the next president of St. Anthony High School by Superintendent of Schools Paul Escala.
Mr. Brennan recently concluded his 15th year as principal of Servite High School in Anaheim, where he was instrumental in building nationally recognized curricular and co-curricular programs of excellence, growing enrollment, strengthening academic outcomes, and graduating faith-filled leaders. Prior to serving at Servite High School, Michael served as principal of South Junior High School and assistant principal at Western High School in the Anaheim Union High School District. Additionally, he has served as president of the Trinity League and CIF Re-leaguing Chairperson for Orange County.
Senior High Principal
Benilde-St. Margaret’s School
St. Louis Park, MN
Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut recently announced the appointment of Stephanie Nitchals as BSM’s next Senior High School Principal. Assisted by a representative search committee, all agreed that Stephanie is a strong, humble, Christ-centered leader with extensive executive experience who will passionately and strategically advance the mission and vision of Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Stephanie has served as an English teacher, Diversity Coordinator, Guidance Counselor, Dean of Academics, High School Principal, and Head of School serving in three different Catholic schools over 18 years.
Director of Advancement
Academy of the Holy Names
We are thrilled to announce that Molly Smith ‘88 P’23 will join the Academy of the Holy Names as its next Director of Advancement. Molly emerged as the top candidate following an extensive nationwide search that produced a diverse and competitive pool of highly qualified candidates. Molly has served on the Board of Trustees at St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School, including as chairperson from 2011-2014, before moving on to Jesuit High School as the school’s annual fund director. In that role, Molly grew Jesuit’s annual giving program 65% to $1.8 million. Additionally, Molly’s creative endeavors with young alums resulted in an average increase of ten new donors per month.
Head of School
Berks Catholic High School
After a comprehensive national search that attracted numerous highly qualified candidates, Berks Catholic High School is thrilled to announce that Bill Hess will serve as the next Head of School effective July 2021. With 29 years’ experience as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Diocese of Allentown, Bill is uniquely qualified to lead Berks Catholic in this next chapter of their growth. Most recently, he served as Assistant Principal at the school and as its Assistant Varsity Football Coach.
Bill earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Alvernia College.
Head of School
St. Anthony Schools
The St. Anthony School Board of Directors announces their rigorous nationwide search for a new Head of School has reached a successful conclusion with the selection of David Kenney to lead the school. Mr. Kenney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In addition, he has completed coursework related to School Finance and Business Administration, Selection and Development of Educational Personnel, Legal Aspects of School Administration, and Human Concerns in Schools.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School
Myrtle Beach, SC
Following our swift and intensive nationwide search that produced a diverse and competitive pool of highly qualified candidates from across the country, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School and the Diocese of Charleston recently announced Kelly Blake as its next Principal. Kelly most recently served nearby St. Andrew Catholic School, where she served as the BRAVE at Home Coordinator. Previously, Kelly served as Principal of All Saints Catholic School in Dallas, TX and also taught at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Plano, TX. Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching with a Principal Certification from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland as well as a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University.
Lafayette Catholic School System
Dr. Peg Dispenzieri, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, and Mr. Bryan Stapleton, chair of the Lafayette Catholic School System Board of Directors are pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Michael Seeley as president of the Lafayette Catholic School System (LCSS). Seeley has a unique background of leading cross-functional teams and institution-wide projects as well as leading the day to day requirements of a senior level administrator.
Dr. Jim Rigg
Cabinet Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of Miami
His Excellency Thomas G. Wenski has appointed Dr. Jim Rigg as the next Cabinet Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Miami. Dr. Rigg comes to the Archdiocese of Miami from the Archdiocese of Chicago where he served as Superintendent of Schools under Cardinal Blase J. Cupich for the past six years. Previously, Dr. Rigg served as Director of Education and Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati overseeing the Office of Catechesis as well as Office of Schools, in an organizational structure similar to the Archdiocese of Miami.
Helias Catholic High School
Jefferson City, Missouri
Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop W. Shawn McKnight and Dr. Erin Vader, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, are thrilled to announce the appointment of John Knight as president of Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City, Missouri, the largest secondary school in the Diocese, effective July 1, 2021.
John is a former Jesuit seminarian who served Catholic school communities for over three decades as a teacher of Theology, a Director of Campus Ministry and Christian Service, a co-founder of a Middle School for Boys, a coach, a counselor, and an assistant athletic director. Since 2007, he served as president in four religious and diocesan high schools in California, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin.
John holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Toledo (Ohio), a master’s in religious education from Loyola University in Chicago and a post graduate degree as an education specialist from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
Helias Catholic High School
Jefferson City, Missouri
Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop W. Shawn McKnight and Dr. Erin Vader, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, are thrilled to announce the appointment of Spencer Allen as principal of Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City, Missouri, effective July 1, 2021.
Spencer has 25 years of education experience from preschool through high school and almost as many years of evangelization as a speaker and author, including in radio and television.
He has been principal of St. Joseph Cathedral School in Jefferson City since 2007 overseeing strong standardized testing growth, a significant increase of the school’s staff and student diversity, and substantial facilities development. During his tenure, the school’s special education program doubled in size. Spencer also facilitated establishing a comprehensive stewardship program to match with Bishop McKnight’s vision.
He earned his bachelor’s in education and advanced degrees, including an education specialist in educational administration and leadership from Lincoln University.
Bishop Amat Memorial High School
La Puente, California
Richard Beck, incoming President of Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, California is pleased to announce that Gabriel Escobar has been named his successor as principal, effective July 1, 2021.
Gabriel brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the position having worked as an educator at Bishop Amat High School in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the past 19 years, the last five-years as Assistant Principal for Academics.
Having worked as an English teacher, school counselor, and administrator, Gabriel is well versed in the myriad issues encountered by students, faculty, staff, and parents and has faced these challenges head-on with his positive and collaborative nature producing remarkable results.
Gabriel earned his B.A. from UCLA and his M.S in Education from Mt. St. Mary’s University.
Head of School
St. Pius X High School
It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors of St. Pius X High School and the Board of Trustees of Dominican Sisters of Houston announce the unanimous selection of Daniel P. Martinez as the next Head of School for St. Pius X High School. Mr. Martinez is a strong, humble, Christ-centered leader with extensive executive experience, combined with a passion for advancing the mission of Catholic education. He is currently concluding his 14th year as a Catholic school leader in San Antonio, Texas. He has served as Principal of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School for the past six years. Prior to serving at St. Gregory the Great, he served as Executive Director of Advancement/Enrollment at Holy Cross of San Antonio and as Director of Mission Effectiveness & Campus Ministry, and Theology & Philosophy Instructor/Department Chair at St. Anthony Catholic High School. Mr. Martinez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Administration from University of the Incarnate Word, a Master of Arts in Catholic School Leadership from St. Mary's University, and anticipates a May 2022 completion of his Doctorate in Education and Catholic School Leadership from Saint Louis University.
Head of School
Marian Catholic High School
Marian Catholic High School is thrilled to announce that Michael Brennan ‘06 was selected from an extensive national search to lead the school as its next Head of School effective July 2021. Brennan is the first Marian Catholic graduate to return home to lead this tradition-rich school community.
Michael currently works at Palmerton Area High School as a Special Education teacher and co-head golf coach while also serving as the assistant boys’ basketball coach for the past eleven years at Marian Catholic.
Brennan earned his Principal Certificate from Point Park University in Pittsburgh in 2020; received his M.Ed., Educational Administration/Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014; and graduated with a B.S.Ed., Elementary Education/Special Education from Wilkes University.
Head of Schools
Shrine Catholic Schools
Royal Oak, MI
After an extensive nationwide search that produced an impressive field of high-quality candidates, Shrine Catholic Schools in Royal Oak, MI is pleased to announce that Joanne Jones has been named Head of Schools effective July 2021.
Jones brings over 30 years’ experience in Catholic education to the position. Included in her impressive resume were stints as Primary School and Lower School Director at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield, MI, Principal and Director of Development at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Holland, MI, and Executive Director of Academics at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, Maryland.
Additionally, she serves as a Design Team Member, Mentor, and Presenter for the Latino Enrollment Institute at the University of Notre Dame where she is tasked with mentoring principals from around the country on building school culture and enrollment.
Jones earned her BA from the University of Michigan, a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Oakland University.
St. Francis Borgia High School
The Archdiocese of St. Louis is pleased to announce that Matthew Schutte has been appointed the next president of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School effective July 2021.
Matthew is currently serving as Vice President of Community Relations & Post-Secondary Advisory at St. Pius X High School in Festus, MO. In his role, he supervises the admissions and alumni engagement staff, assists with advancement initiatives, and engages constituencies as a grant writer and grant administrator.
He previously served as the Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management at St. Pius X and worked in admissions for 17 years first at Webster University and later at Saint Louis University. He was also an adjunct faculty member in Webster University’s School of Communications.
Matthew earned his Bachelor of Science degree in English from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts degree in Media Communications with a public relations emphasis from Webster University. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education administration.
Secretary for Catholic Schools/Superintendent
Archdiocese of Washington
After a national search process, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory is thrilled to appoint Kelly A. Branaman as the next Secretary for Catholic Schools and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
Kelly has served the Archdiocese since the early 2000s in several roles including Director of Special Education/Support Services Coordinator, Director of Curriculum, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, Assistant Superintendent, and Associate Superintendent for Strategic Planning and School Operations.
Branaman, a Harvard University Graduate School of Education Strategic Data Project Fellow, earned a Master of Arts degree in education – special education from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education/learning disabilities from Indiana University.
Kelly was awarded the National Catholic Educational Association’s Lead.Learn.Proclaim. Award for Diocesan Leadership in 2017 and the National Catholic Educational Association’s Catherine T. McNamee, CJS President’s Award in 2002. This past year she was a member of NCEA’s committee on National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.
There are 26,000 students from diverse backgrounds attending the 91 archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools located in the Archdiocese of Washington, which include early learning centers, elementary schools, and high schools. The archdiocese’s Catholic schools are located in Washington, D.C., and the five surrounding Maryland counties of Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
St. Monica Catholic School
With extensive experience in Catholic schools as a teacher, principal, and president, St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas, TX is thrilled to announce Angeline M. Trudell as its inaugural President effective July 2020. A graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland, Angeline began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York and California before being named principal in 1988. Since 2002, she served as Principal and then President at St. Junipero Serra Catholic School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. During her tenure, she led efforts to increase enrollment from 600 students to 1100 students and oversaw two multi-million-dollar construction projects for a Middle School Education Complex and Gym and a Chapel, STEM Wing, Administrative Wing, and Parent Hub. Angeline also served as Accreditation Chair of the Western Catholic Education Association/Western Association of Schools and Colleges for the past 20 years.
Notre Dame Academy
After an extensive national search, Notre Dame Academy in Duluth, GA is excited to announce Kenneth J. Willers as President starting July 2020. Most recently Ken served as principal at the School of the Madeleine, Berkeley, CA for eight years before being named Associate Superintendent of Leadership for Innovation and Growth for the Diocese of Oakland, CA in 2018. While with the Diocese, he initiated a partnership with the NCEA and ISTE to create a nation-wide program of ISTE certification for Catholic educators. He’s received numerous national awards including NAESP’s National Distinguished Principal in 2017, NCEA’s Lead. Learn. Proclaim Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2017, and ISTE’s Administrator Award for Exemplary Leadership in 2016. He also served as an Executive Mentor Coach with NCEA from 2017 to 2019. Ken earned his B.A. from Don Bosco College, a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of the Theology of Santa Clara University, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Catholic Diocesan Leadership from The Catholic University of America.
East Catholic High School
Archbishop of Hartford Leonard P. Blair and the East Catholic High School Search Committee are delighted to announce Sean P. Brennan as their next President effective summer 2020. Before “coming home,” the 1985 ECHS grad worked as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, advisor, admissions officer, academic dean, division head, and head of school. During seven years as Vermont Academy’s Head of School he led efforts that increased enrollment by 20% and the annual fund by 31% during challenging economic times. Sean leaves behind his role as Assistant Headmaster and Upper School Head at Austin Prep in Reading, MA where he oversaw development of the Upper School Strategic Plan focusing on the school’s Augustinian charisms and encouraging all constituents to live the mission. Sean earned his M.A. and B.A. from Middlebury College.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Charleston
The Diocese of Charleston South Carolina is delighted to welcome William H. Ryan as its next Superintendent of Catholic Schools. Mr. Ryan has held various school-based and central office positions throughout his distinguished career in education. Since 2015, Mr. Ryan has been the Secretary for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, providing oversight and support for 68 Catholic elementary schools, 20 Catholic high schools, and seven early childhood programs in Washington, D.C. and southern Maryland. In 2009 he was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals as the best High School Principal in Maryland. Mr. Ryan earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Bloomsburg University and a Master’s Degree in Administration/Supervision in Education from Bowie State University.
Bishop DuBourg High School
St. Louis, MO
The Archdiocese of St. Louis Office of Catholic Education and Formation is thrilled to announce Mr. Mark Bayens as the new President at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis, MO.
After earning his B.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia he embarked on a career working in elementary and high schools, most recently serving as Director of Athletics at Notre Dame High School in St. Louis.
Additionally, Mr. Bayens (Bishop DuBourg ’81) earned his M.A. from Maryville University and his M.S. in education administration from Lindenwood University.
St. John School
The Archdiocese of Boston is pleased to announce that Siobhan S. Mahoney has been selected as Principal at St. John School in Wellesley, MA. Following a stint as Residential Program Teacher, Education Coordinator Assistant, and Preschool Teacher at the New England Center for Children, Siobhan served five years as Director of Admissions at Mount Alvernia High School. In 2108, she was named as Assistant Head of School at the Newton, MA school.
Siobhan earned a B.A. from St. Joseph College of Maine, a Master’s in Education from Simmons College, and was a fellow in cohort VIII at the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College.
Dr. Daniel Everett
Head of School
Fr. Tolton Catholic High School
Fr. Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia, MO is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Everett, Ed.D. as its new Head of School. Most recently, Dr. Everett worked eleven years at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California spending six years as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Innovation before moving on to be interim Head of School at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel, California. He earned his B.A. from Franciscan University, an M.A. from Loyola Marymount University, and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.
Stephen Murphy, Esq.
Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School
Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School is delighted to welcome Stephen Murphy as its new President. Mr. Murphy was the founder and managing partner of Murphy, Vu, Thongsamouth & Chatterjee, LLP. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a division of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where his responsibilities included fundraising, writing grants, organizing fundraisers, speaking at events, and supervising strategic planning. Mr. Murphy is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Catechist at Newman Hall Holy Spirit Parish in Berkeley. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Head of School
Bishop O'Connell High School
Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mr. William T. Crittenberger as its next President. His background includes a 36-year career in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator at private schools and Catholic schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. For the past eight years, Mr. Crittenberger served as Headmaster at St. Anselm Abbey Catholic School, where among other accomplishments, he grew enrollment 20%, oversaw a faculty retention rate of 97%, and significantly increased both financial aid and the number of seniors named National AP Scholars. He earned his B.A. from George Washington University, an M.A. from Yale University, and an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Erin Vader
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Jefferson City
Jefferson City, MO
The Diocese of Jefferson City, MO is pleased to announce that Dr. Erin Vader will serve as its new Superintendent. Dr. Vader has an illustrious 20+ career in Catholic education as a teacher, principal, and President. During three years as President at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, TX, she facilitated donations and pledges of over $30 million for campus upgrades. During the past three years, Dr. Vader served as Coordinator for Schools Advancement in the Diocese of Fort Worth. She earned her B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington and her M.Ed. and Doctor of Educational Leadership from Texas Wesleyan University.
Dr. Marissa Muoio
Head of Upper School
Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart is delighted to welcome Dr. Marissa C. Muoio as its Head of Upper School. She is a product of twenty-five years of Catholic education. Her professional career has been devoted to an all-girls, Catholic, independent school beginning as a Library-Media Specialist, where she co-chaired an online learning initiative. She later served as Curriculum Coordinator and most recently as Dean of Academics. Marissa earned her B.S., M.A., and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.
Philip Riley, Jr.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic School System
With 27 years’ experience in Catholic education, including 20 as principal, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School System is excited to welcome Mr. Philip R. Riley, Jr. to Appleton, WI as its President. Born in Nebraska, Mr. Riley served as a First Lieutenant in Desert Storm. Upon his return, he began his career in Catholic schools as a middle school teacher. In 2015, he was the recipient of the 2015 Dr. Robert J. Kealey National Catholic Education Association Principal of the Year Award. Since 2012, he has served as Principal of St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas, TX. Mr. Riley earned a B.A. from Benedictine College, an M.S. in Educational Administration from Texas A & M University, and is a current Boston College Emmaus Series Candidate.
Secretary of Social Ministry
Diocese of Charleston
James P. Kaiser, Jr., Esq. was named Secretary of Social Ministry for The Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. He brings a plethora of impressive experiences to the position including serving as Executive Director of Order of Malta Western Association, Majority Counsel with the Committee on Government Reform in the United States House of Representatives, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, Inc., and Attorney with the U.S. Coast Guard. He earned his B.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Juris Doctor from University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Additionally, he is currently a Graduate Candidate in Theology, Mission, and Ministry at University of Cambridge & Durham University, UK.
Dr. Darbie Safford
St. Mary's Catholic School
St. Mary’s Catholic School in Longview, TX is thrilled to announce the hiring of Dr. Darbie Safford as Principal. Her impressive list of experiences in Catholic education includes stints as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Dallas, as well as instructor, Director of Admissions and College Counseling, and Principal at Catholic schools in Texas. Dr. Safford presented at the annual NCEA Conference in Chicago (2019) and the NCEA Leadership Summit in Jacksonville, FL (2018). She earned her Doctor of Education from St. Louis University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dallas.
Cheri Lynn Wood
Santa Margarita Catholic High School
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA is pleased to announce that Cheri Lynn Wood has been selected as Principal. She was awarded a Post-Master’s Certificate in School Administration from Notre Dame of Maryland University and earned both her M.A. and B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College. She was also awarded a Klingenstein Summer Fellowship in Educational Administration to attend Teachers College at Columbia University. Cheri was recently published in Momentum, NCEA’s quarterly magazine.
Newman Catholic Middle and High School
Having served Wausau Catholic Schools since 1992 as teacher, associate principal, and middle school principal, Ann McManus has been named Principal at Newman Catholic Middle and High School in Wausau, WI. She received her Master of Arts in Education – Teacher Leadership from Viterbo University and her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Ann earned her Wisconsin DPI Administrative License from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN. She served on the Advisory Council for the Diocese of LaCrosse, created a mentoring program for newly hired staff, and increased enrollment during her tenure as middle school principal.
Dr. Anna Maria Downey
Principal and CEO
Incarnate Word High School
San Antonio, TX
Dr. Anna Maria Downey was selected from among an impressive field of high-quality candidates to be the Principal and CEO of Incarnate Word High School in San Antonio, TX. She brings over 25 years’ experience in Catholic education to the position. Anna earned her Doctor of Education from Union Institute & University, a Master of Education from Jones University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. She was awarded High School Educator of the Year in 2018 from the University of Cincinnati. She also participated in the Alpaugh Scholars Leadership Program at the University of Cincinnati.
St. John Paul II Catholic School
John E. McCarthy, an experienced educator with over thirty-five years as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in both public and private school systems has been selected as Principal of St. John Paul II Catholic School in Ridgeland, SC. He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Providence College. John is a Doctoral Candidate in Leadership in Schooling at Lesley University. During his tenures as Superintendent, he was responsible for building and mentoring a leadership team where over one-third of its members went on to become school superintendents and led the visioning, design, marketing, successful bond vote, and construction of a $75,000,000 middle school and performing arts center.
Cardinal Newman School
Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, SC is delighted to announce the appointment of Robert A. Loia as Principal. Robert has devoted his professional life to Catholic schools since 1991 as a teacher, coach, sacristan, guidance counselor, and administrator. He earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership from University of Notre Dame, his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University of Maryland, Baltimore, and his B.A. in History and Philosophy from The Catholic University of America.
Dr. Todd Sweda
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
After an enormously successful tenure as CEO of Archbishop Hoban High School in Ohio, Dr. Todd Sweda has been appointed the new Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Dr. Sweda earned a Doctor of Education in Leadership, Management & Policy from Seton Hall University, a Master of Arts in the Humanities from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wittenberg University. While at Archbishop Hoban, Dr. Sweda secured funding, created partnerships, and repurposed space for the construction of an Innovation Center comprised of a makerspace for pursuits in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics and an entrepreneurship and communications studio for pursuits in business and distance learning. He also directed a successful $7 million capital campaign for a chapel/retreat center, an athletic performance/health and fitness center, and increased endowment funds.
Head of School
Archbishop Hannan High School
The Archdiocese of New Orleans and Archbishop Hannan High School are delighted to welcome Chad Barwick as its new inaugural Head of School. Chad has 16 years of invaluable experience in Catholic schools as a teacher, coach, and principal before becoming President at St. Pius X Catholic High School, the largest school in the Diocese of Atlanta, raising over $1 million in the Annual Fund and overseeing an $18.4 million budget. He earned his B.A. from Auburn University, an M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Notre Dame’s Remick Leadership Program.
Director of Advancement
Notre Dame Academy Schools of Los Angeles
Notre Dame Academy of Schools of Los Angeles is pleased to welcome Guiliana Battaglini as its new Director of Advancement. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and a Rhodes Scholar nominee, Guiliana served as President of UCLA’s Bruins Bells Service Organization, a philanthropic, non-profit, volunteer leadership organization of 90 women. Upon graduation, she served as Development Assistant for UCLA Health Services working on donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Most recently, Guiliana served in the Advancement Office at Loyola Marymount University as the school’s Senior Events Coordinator. She is a graduate of Notre Academy of Schools and is on track for a Master of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount.
Upper School Director
Mrs. Angie Baker joins Walsingham Academy as the Upper School Director and has been serving as Upper School Director of Academic Affairs since July 1, 2016, where she had been focusing on curriculum, academic progress, coordination with the Counseling Office, and faculty professional development. A longtime and highly respected member of the Upper School faculty, Mrs. Baker had served as a science teacher for eight years before taking the position of Director of Academic Affairs. She brings 18 total years of teaching experience and has previously served as an administrator at St. Frederick High School in Monroe, Louisiana.
St. John Vianney High School
Mr. Ian Mulligan joins St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, MO as it new Principal. Mr. Mulligan is an outstanding educator with over ten years of experience, having served most recently as Assistant Principal at Rangeview High School in Aurora, Colorado. Prior to being Assistant Principal, Mr. Mulligan served as a teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. Mr. Mulligan holds a Master of Education with Specialization in Educational Leadership degree from Regis University in Denver, CO, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from The University of Dayton in Ohio.
Saint Basil Academy
Connie D’Angelo returns to Saint Basil Academy as the new principal. The veteran Catholic school educator served from 2010-212 as Saint Basil’s vice-principal. D’Angelo has more than 18 years’ experience as a Catholic teacher and administrator. She has made a commitment to Catholic education, both professionally and personally, her entire life. Most recently, D’Angelo served as dean of student affairs at nearby Mount St. Joseph Academy and has experience in the classroom spanning 12 years before moving into administrative leadership positions. D’Angelo attended Cabrini College where she received her certificate in Educational Leadership (K-12). Additionally, she obtained a MA Writing -English (7-12) Secondary Education Certificate from Arcadia University and her BA English; Minor: World Languages from St. Joseph’s University.
Cardinal O'Hara High School
Mr. Gerald “Jay” DeFruscio, a native of Drexel Hill and Class of 1978 graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School (Delaware County), has been selected as the new president. Mr. DeFruscio is a seasoned leader in the fields of athletics and higher education and joins Cardinal O’Hara from The Atlantic 10 Athletic Conference (A10), headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, where he has served as Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball since 2011. In this role he facilitated Communications between the Conference office and member school’s administrators and coaches, oversaw the leagues television and scheduling processes, as well as represented and promoted interest of basketball programs outside the league with the NCAA. Prior to his time with the A10 he served as the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for the Indiana Pacers (NBA) as well as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Wheeling Jesuit University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Business Administration from Ursinus College in Collegeville (Montgomery County).
St. Dominic High School
Mr. Jim Welby joins St. Dominic High School as its new President. He has served the St. Dominic community as athletic director since 2012 and has 17 years of experience in Catholic education. Prior to coming to St. Dominic, Welby served as a teacher and administrator at his alma mater, Bishop DuBourg High School. He brings 13 years of administrative experience, including serving as athletic director and advancement director at Bishop DuBourg. Welby has a Master’s in Business Administration from Maryville University and his Bachelor of Science in Administration, with a minor in History from St. Louis University.
Head of School
Mrs. Maura Spignesi has accepted the position of Head of School at Fontbonne Academy. Prior to assuming her new role as Head of School, Spignesi has served at Fontbonne since 2002 in several different roles including: Assistant Head of School for Administration and Student Life, Administrative Dean, Director of Guidance, Guidance Counselor, International Student Coordinator and teacher. Spignesi’s education includes a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with concentration and certification in School Counseling from Boston College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Boston College.
W. Paul Harrington
Head of School
Pope Francis High School
Pope Francis High School announced Dr. W. Paul Harrington, Jr. as its new Head of School. Mr. Harrington previously served as Head of School for Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, Calif. A native of Holliston, Mass., Harrington holds a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in economics from Fairfield University, and a Master of Arts in school administration from Loyola Marymount University. He received his Doctor of Education in educational leadership at the University of Southern California.
St. Pius X High School
Mr. Jim Lehn has been named President of St. Pius X High School. Prior to accepting the president position at St. Pius X, Jim held various leadership roles at Anheuser-Busch, Ascension Health and Mercy/ROi. He also served on the finance committee and was the capital campaign co-chair at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Imperial and served on the finance committee and board of directors at St. Pius X High School. Lehn graduated from Windsor High School in 1987, then went on to serve four years in the United States Air Force. After serving his country, he earned an Associate's degree from Jefferson College in 1993 using the GI Bill. He then completed his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management from the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 1996 and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Webster University in 2003.
Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School
Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School announced the appointment of Mr. Ben Hopper as Principal. Mr. Hopper is an accomplished educator and committed administrator with 17 years of Catholic school experience, having served most recently as Principal of John Carroll High School in Fort Pierce, Florida since 2005. Hopper also served John Carrol as Dean of Students and classroom teacher before moving into his administrative and spiritual leadership position. Hopper holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Florida and a Master’s of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.
Rice Memorial High School
South Burlington, VT
Lisa Lorenz emerged from a competitive national search process as the school’s choice for its permanent principal. Lorenz earned a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University, a MA in Moral Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; as well as a MA in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore. Her extensive experience includes serving as a Catholic middle school teacher, department chair, principal, and diocesan superintendent. A licensed counselor, Lisa also served McDaniel College and the University of Maryland graduate programs as a department coordinator in school counseling and mental health.
Trinity High School
After serving the Trinity High School community as a teacher and administrator for over 17 years, Steven Gadecki emerged from a competitive national search to serve as the school’s next Principal. A lifelong educator, Steven’s career spans over 30 years, serving predominately in Catholic high school settings. Steven holds a BS in Mathematics from Clemson University and an MS in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Kansas. Additionally, he completed graduate level education courses at Purdue and Millersville Universities.
Chief Academic Officer
Newman Catholic Schools
Amy Mettlach was appointed to leadership team of Newman Catholic Schools serving as their first Chief Academic Officer. Ms. Mettlach has had a distinguished career serving as a junior high and senior high English teacher working with students with a wide variety of learning needs. She served as the English Department Chair at St. Francis Xavier High School in Appleton, prior to helping develop and implement the Reach Academy at Neenah High School. Amy received Bachelor’s degrees in both Education and English Literature from Miami University of Ohio, followed by her M. Ed. in Educational Supervision and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Our Lady of Mercy Academy
Sandra Betters was been named the new Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) in Syosset, New York. Ms. Betters joins the leadership team at OLMA after serving at Rockland County Day School as their Academic Dean. Prior, she served for ten years at The Albany Academies. Before transitioning into school administration, she taught senior high school English, middle school history and English, and briefly taught at the elementary level. Sandra holds a BS in Elementary Education from St. Bonaventure University, and a M. Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision form the College of St. Rose.
St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School
The Ascension Catholic Academy (ACA), a consortium of schools serving low-income scholars with diverse needs selected Tricia Menzhuber as their Principal of St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School in Minneapolis. For the last five years, Ms. Menzhuber was the Head of School at The Way of the Shepherd Catholic Montessori School. Previously, she was the Religion Department Head at the Convent of the Visitation School. Tricia received BA degrees in International Studies and in Justice and Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas. Her graduate work includes an MA in Education from the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of St. Thomas.