I came to Catholic Education Arizona in July of 2019 as Director of Strategic Partnerships after 20+ years of service to Catholic schools. Moving from school administration to marketing and strategic communications for CEA is a deeper dive into an area of educational administration that I have come to learn is critical to a school’s success. As a graduate of Catholic schools, former teacher and principal of Catholic schools, and former Assistant Superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Phoenix, I am deeply invested in the work of the Catholic schools CEA serves.
My responsibilities include marketing, communications, and outreach to various entities to create more partnerships for CEA. Building awareness of CEA involves getting out of the office and building relationships with various groups, so every week holds new connections and different adventures.
I came to the Diocese of Phoenix in 2013 as Assistant Superintendent of Schools after 6 years as a Catholic school principal in Indiana. My family chose Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale as our home school and parish. My husband, both of my sons, and I participate in several parish ministries and are indebted to Father Greg Schlarb for his spiritual leadership. He has been a wonderful influence for us on our faith journeys.
I grew up in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago, where I attended St. Gerald Catholic School and Queen of Peace High School in the Archdiocese of Chicago. I remain connected to many of my classmates from St. Gerald’s and Queen of Peace. The tight-knit communities of Catholic schools are like little families, and I still have mine, even though many of us no longer live in the Chicago area.
I have always been a musician (as are my children now, too), and I love to read and travel. I have an adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit that motivates me to try new things and constantly learn. I am motivated to teach and help other people. I believe that the purpose of the work that I do must be a service to others in order to create fulfillment in my heart and soul. I tell my children, and I firmly believe for myself as well, that God gave us gifts that must be used to make the world a better place!
One of my recent accomplishments is a publication through the National Catholic Education Association called Setting the Table: A Guidebook for Diversified Learner Program Development in Catholic School. I love helping Catholic schools, both locally and nationally, to create pathways within their schools and dioceses to fulfill the Catholic mission of educating ALL learners. I have been a trainer and consultant for schools around the US desiring help with exceptional learner programs.
Along these same lines, I am a founding board member for a non-profit organization called The Matthew 19:14 Project. For 5 years, I have worked with a group of people on the Arizona Catholic Schools Disabilities Fund to raise money for schools in the Diocese of Phoenix to purchase equipment for students with special needs and to provide professional development and training for teachers and administrators. Through the dedication of co-founder Dr. Lisa Fischer and a dedicated Board of Directors, The Matthew 19:14 Project has developed from the Arizona Catholic Schools Disabilities Fund and will launch this spring. The goal of The Matthew 19:14 Project is to continue to serve Catholic schools throughout Arizona with the same mission—funding equipment, training, and personnel to assist students with special needs.
My Favorite Quote
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson