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Future Catholic School leaders gather to reflect on training

Participants in the Leadership Initiative of the Archdiocese of Boston gathered at a luncheon May 17. Courtesy photo

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BRAINTREE -- For the past year, new leaders and apprentice principals from schools throughout the Archdiocese have received professional development and opportunities to practice their leadership skills.

The group gathered at a luncheon May 17 with Superintendent Kathy Mears and other officials to compare notes, reflect on the past year, and discuss future plans. Many of the aspiring leaders are looking for positions within the Archdiocese.

The group has benefited from the Leadership Initiative created by the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office and the Catholic Schools Foundation. The collaborative program aims to develop the capacities of the talented individuals working in our schools and to support new principals.

"It was a joy to witness the passion and commitment these individuals brought to this program," Mears said.

"Their work is ensuring the growth and development of our Catholic schools."

Donna Henderson, a seasoned Catholic educator, has already been appointed principal at St. Monica School in Methuen.

Julia Fielder-Ross, who has worked alongside principal Mark Bedrosian at St. Raphael Parish School in Medford, described the experience as eye opening.

"I always knew that principals had a lot of responsibility, but I could not appreciate the extent of their role until I was able to get a behind the scenes view of what Mark does on a day to day basis," Fielder-Ross said.

For new principals who are trying to navigate the complexities of being a first-time leader, this program created a professional network where they could connect with others and seek out additional support.

Tiffany Sawyer, principal at St. Patrick School in Roxbury, found that the most valuable part of the program was building a network with a rich group of diverse individuals.

"The members of the Leadership Initiative come from different backgrounds, have various levels of experience, and vary in ages," Mears said.

"It truly is a cross-section of dedicated educators from the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston."

Leaders: Kathleen Caulfield, Holy Name School, West Roxbury. Robert Casaletto, East Boston Central Catholic School, East Boston. Susan Degnan, Trinity Catholic Academy -Upper Campus, Brockton. Brian Donohue, Marian High School, Framingham. Cynthia Donovan, Our Lady of the Assumption School , Lynnfield. Kellie Kickham, St. Mary School, Winchester. Scot Landry, St. Paul Choir School, Cambridge. Corinne Merritt, St. Joseph School, Holbrook. Caitlin Oglesby, St. Agnes School, Arlington. Tiffany Sawyer, St. Patrick School, Roxbury. Joan Sullivan, Immaculate Conception School, Newburyport.

Aspiring Principals for 2017-2018: Julia Fiedler-Ross, St. Raphael Parish School, Medford. Donna Henderson, St. Michael School, Lowell. Bailey Magazzu, St. Patrick School, Stoneham. Kristina Relihan, Mission Grammar School, Boston.

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