[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   


                                                                                             July 8, 2005


Catholic High School Administrators Meet for Conference at CUA

Speakers to Address Issues Facing Secondary Presidents and Principals


National education experts will address the challenges facing Catholic secondary school presidents and principals at a weeklong conference to be hosted this month by Catholic University.


The conference, titled “Growing and Developing: The Catholic Secondary School President/Principal Model,” will be held July 18 to 22 at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The event is sponsored jointly by CUA, Saint Louis University and the University of San Francisco.


The president/principal model, a management strategy that started in high schools sponsored by religious communities, is spreading to diocesan secondary schools, according to Sister Mary Frances Taymans, S.N.D., executive director of the Department of Secondary Schools at the National Catholic Educational Association.

Of the 1,225 Catholic secondary schools nationwide, 47 percent use the president/principal model. Among those using the model, 31 percent are diocesan schools, a number that has increased by 18 percent since 1999, says Sister Mary Frances Taymans.


The model “represents a response to the need for additional administration in Catholic high schools as the demands on principals have become more complex,” she adds.


With the transition to lay staffing and salary structures at many Catholic schools, secondary school administrators have taken on more responsibility for fundraising and institutional development. The model allows a school’s president to focus on internal and external administrative duties while the principal focuses on curriculum development and the day-to-day operation of the school.


The model assigns to the president responsibility for such areas as long-term planning, fiscal management, alumni affairs, board leadership, recruitment, institutional advancement, Catholic identity, public representation and fundraising and development efforts.

The principal is chiefly responsible for academic and student affairs, student services, admissions, school ministry, and the hiring and supervision of teaching faculty and support staff.

Merylann Schuttloffel, a CUA associate professor of education who helped to organize the event, says “The conference is designed to provide professional content for presidents and principals. We also hope it will allow them to do some collegial networking as they meet peers who are confronted with the same day-to-day issues.”


The speakers and their topics include:


Bernie Bouillette, vice president of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association, Washington, D.C., “Understanding the Model, Its History and the Research”


Sister Catherine Dooley, CUA associate professor of theology and religious studies,The President’s Role as Catechist in the Catholic School Community”


Joseph S. Fusco, principal of Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, N.J., “The Principal’s View of the President/Principal Model”


Sister Patricia Garrahan, S.N.D., sponsorship associate for Xaverian Brothers-sponsored schools, “Assessment of Boards and of the President — For Veterans in the Ministry” and

“Assessment of Boards and of the President — For New Folks in the Ministry”


Heather Gossart, president and CEO of Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, Md., “The President’s Role in Maintaining the Religious Communities’ Charism”    


John James, director of the Catholic Leadership Program at Saint Louis University, Missouri, “Organizational Leadership in the President-Principal Model” and “Know Thyself:  Understanding your Leadership Strengths”


Merylann Schuttloffel, CUA associate professor of education, “The President’s Role in Articulating the Catholic School Culture and Identity” 


Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy, S.C.N., vice president for the mission and corporate general counsel at Spalding University, Louisville, Ky., “What Every President Needs to Know about Legal Issues Surrounding Catholic Schools”


Brother Loughlan Sofield, S.T., a leading consultant on collaborative ministry, personal development, and leadership, “How to Build a Working Team through Conflict and Resolution”


Brother Ray Vercruysse, C.F.C., director of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership at the School of Education, University of San Francisco, “For New Presidents: What Is the Model and the Questions” and “For Veterans in the Ministry: Best Practice in the Model”


Sister Rita M. Sturwold, S.N.D., president of Mount Notre Dame High School, Cincinnati, “Institutional Marketing and Advancement of the Catholic School — Roles of the President and Principal”


MEDIA:   For more information about covering the conference, contact Katie Lee in the Office of

  Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.




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Revised: 7/8/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.