Here is the link to the November 21st Catholic School Matters Radio Hour focusing on new Catholic leaders. The 90-minute podcast features four conversations with new Catholic school leaders:
- Mary Pat Donaghue, the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Catholic Education at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Here is another (video) interview with her. We discuss the recent bishops’ meeting in Baltimore and her hopes for her new work, as well as her background in Catholic education. We discuss “the work before us” and how we are called to meet the challenges in front of us.
- I had a great conversation with three brand new Catholic school superintendents who came to their positions from very different backgrounds. Debra Haney, the recently-named Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, spoke first about her long-time affiliation with the Archdiocese, her quick ascendance, and her realization that in certain areas, she sets the course for the schools. Samuel Torres, the new superintendent of the Diocese of San Bernardino, spoke as part of the panel of new superintendents. As a Hispanic Catholic, he believes in his call to draw more Hispanic Catholics into the school system and into the heart of the Church. His background as a high school principal (Pomona Catholic) and in the Archdiocese of Baltimore have shaped his perspective. Janet Eaton, the new superintendent of the Diocese of Wichita, was the third member of the panel and spoke of realizing that she speaks for the diocese and is looked at as an authority. After listening/interviewing each one, it was great to open up the floor and have more free-flowing conversations.
- The third conversation was with Tom Novotney, the Chief Administrator for Cedar Valley Catholic Schools in Waterloo, Iowa. In his first year, he has had to guide the school system through a transition to a new model. With declining enrollment and aging facilities, the board has decided to modify which grades are offered at which building. It’s been a challenging year for him!
- Finally, I spoke to the new principals at two brand new Catholic schools. I had interviewed each of them last year as part of my new Catholic school leaders podcast. Nicholas Morgan is the new principal of Epiphany Catholic School in Katy, Texas. He talked about falling a little short on enrollment projections and fundraising, too. Annette Zaleski is the founding principal of St. Jeanne de Lestonnac HS in Temecula, CA. She talked about opening the school to 9th and 10th graders (they had originally expected to only open one year) and the challenge of raising the $20 million to build the new high school. It was great to check in with them and hear their stories!
Overall, it’s great to hear the enthusiasm and passion of these new leaders. Enjoy! Here’s another link to the podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!