By Sedonna Prater
Catholic Extension and Loyola Marymount University are partnering to offer a certificate leadership program to Catholic school leaders, such as assistant principals and rising instructional leaders.
The educational program, offered through Loyola Marymount’s Catholic School Leadership Academy, provides professional training that is specific to Catholic schools by focusing on topics such as Catholic identity, curriculum development, best practices in governance, fundraising, finance and human resource administration.
Sister Mary Marta Abbott, RSM, superintendent of Diocese of Knoxville Catholic schools, applied for grants from Catholic Extension and Loyola Marymount University for three Catholic school leaders: Andrew M. Zengel, Elizabeth Raudat, and Lisa Maki.
The diocese was awarded $29,520 in grants from Catholic Extension and Loyola Marymount for the three selected that will pay for 80 percent of the costs for the program. The remaining tuition costs will be paid by each student or their school, approximately $2,620 per student.
Mr. Zengel, interim principal at St. Joseph School in Knoxville, Mrs. Raudat, fifth-grade teacher at St. Mary School in Johnson City, and Mrs. Maki, assistant principal at Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Knoxville, will join selected Catholic school leaders across the country to begin the cohort educational experience.
“As educators and leaders, our nominees epitomize the reasons why the Diocese of Knoxville continues to earn so many honors through our schools. These three individuals are among the dedicated educators helping to lead our schools to greater levels of excellence, exemplifying the leadership qualities necessary for this initiative,” Bishop Stika said in a letter of support of their nomination,
Sister Mary Marta has made it a priority to foster and promote Catholic school leaders among the educators in the diocese’s schools.
“This year, two of our experienced principals retired, causing the schools to launch a nationwide search for talent and expertise. While these schools have been blessed to hire two extraordinary people to assume the positions, being a part of this process really confirmed the need to continue to grow and cultivate the talent of leaders within our school communities,” she said.
“The three educators selected for nomination and awarded this honor to participate in the program have already been exhibiting leadership within their respective schools. This program should further develop their skills. By sharing their expertise and establishing a professional network with other Catholic school educators through the cohort experience, these three leaders will impact our diocese by applying new administrative or instructional skills in their work,” Sister Mary Marta added.
Mr. Zengel, Mrs. Raudat and Mrs. Maki will began their study in August. The Diocese of Knoxville Catholic Schools office, pastors and principals of the respective schools congratulate them on their accomplishment and request prayers for them as they begin this educational initiative.
“I am very proud of our Catholic schools and believe the investment of Catholic Extension in helping to further hone the skills and leadership of Andy Zengel, Elizabeth Raudat, and Lisa Maki will bring rich dividends to our diocese and our schools,” Bishop Richard F. Stika said.