Structure devised for Pittsburgh-East region of schools

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - Updated: 3:09 pm

By Bob De Witt Correspondent

A new board of directors has been named to lead the Pittsburgh-East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools as part of the diocese’s ongoing effort to ensure families have access to Catholic schools that are academically excellent, spiritually vibrant and financially sustainable.

Representing each of the parish groupings within the Pittsburgh-East region, the 15-person board will transition from an advisory group to a governing body providing oversight of elementary schools. Currently, parish schools in the Pittsburgh-East region are run by priest-administrators.

The directors and parish groupings are:

• Father Lawrence Adams (Good Shepherd/Madonna del Castello/St. Maurice/Word of God).

• Father Frank Almade (St. Colman/St. John Fisher/St. Jude the Apostle).

• Janet Ciramella (St. Raphael/Sacred Heart, Shadyside).

• Father Christopher Donley (St. Benedict the Moor/Epiphany/St. Mary of Mercy/St. Patrick-St. Stanislaus).

• Father John Lendvai (St. Alphonsus, Springdale/Holy Family/Holy Martyrs/Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament/Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph, Natrona).

• James Maher Jr. (St. Bede/St. Charles Lwanga/St. James, Wilkinsburg).

• Mary-Peg Miller (St. Maximilian Kolbe/Resurrection, West Mifflin/St. Rita/St. Therese of Lisieux).

• Father Terrence O’Connor (St. Angela Merici/Corpus Christi/St. Patrick, McKeesport/St. Robert Bellarmine).

• Father Kevin Poecking (St. Irenaeus/St. Januarius/St. John the Baptist, Plum/St. Joseph, Verona/Our Lady of Joy).

• Lisa Sciullo (Immaculate Heart of Mary/St. Maria Goretti/Our Lady of the Angels).

• Lawrence Scott (Transfiguration/St. Victor).

• Thomas Smith (St. Agnes/Christ the Light of the World/Holy Trinity/St. Joseph, Duquesne).

• Father Kris Stubna (St. Paul Cathedral/St. Regis/St. Rosalia/St. Stephen).

• Father Thomas Wagner (St. Mark/St. Michael/Queen of the Rosary).

• Father Edwin Wichman (St. Bartholomew/St. Bernadette/St. Gerard Majella/North American Martyrs/St. Susanna).

Following the lead of the North Hills region, effective July 1, the schools in the region will become part of Pittsburgh-East Regional Catholic Schools, Inc., a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a two-tiered structure comprised of a member board that includes Bishop David Zubik, and the board of directors.

The board recently elected its officers. Father Stubna is serving as president, Thomas Smith as vice president and Mary-Peg Miller is secretary.

Directors will appoint a regional administrator who will manage the daily operation of the Catholic elementary schools in the region and who will, in turn, hire a business manager to supervise the schools’ finances.

Pastor-administrators will continue to oversee their parish schools until the new board assumes its governing role.

“Catholic schools continue to be one of the best means the church has to teach the faith to our children, collaborating with parents to form faith-filled disciples,” Father Stubna said. “Embracing a regional model of governance and support allows for a more cost-effective way to operate our schools, keeping tuition costs reasonable and focusing more intently on academic excellence and faith formation.

“It also invites the full support of all the parish communities in a region for the good of our children,” he said.

Part of the On Mission for The Church Alive! initiative, regionalization is intended to help reinforce Catholic schools’ identity and mission, reallocate resources to enhance academic quality, stabilize enrollment, and enable greater collaboration in curriculum, technology, professional development, athletics and fundraising.

Father Stubna also asked for continued prayers for the success of school regionalization and for all who work on behalf of Catholic education in our diocese.

Learn more at www.diopitt.org/pgh-east. 

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