St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership announces next step in Vitality Plan

St. Joseph Catholic Schools will align under St. Joseph Catholic Academy, five campuses with centralized administration

St. Joseph, Missouri – The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership announced a key decision today following two years of evaluation, research and visioning about the future of St. Joseph Catholic Schools. Effective July 1, 2022, five St. Joseph Catholic Schools will align under one entity called St. Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA).

“The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership was formed to facilitate collaboration among the area’s Catholic schools and ensure a common experience for all students. We have laid an important foundation for that work with the decision to establish St. Joseph Catholic Academy,” said Ann Lachowitzer, president of the St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership. “We are excited and inspired by the opportunities that this new alignment offers to the students, families, teachers and staff of our St. Joseph Catholic Schools.”

All five schools will continue to operate as individual campuses within the SJCA structure: St. Gianna Early Childhood Center, Cathedral School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, St. James Catholic School and Bishop LeBlond High School. A centralized administrative team is to include Pastoral Coordinator Father Christian Malewski, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish; St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership President Ann Lachowitzer; and Head of Schools Catherine Neumayr. The administrative team will work closely with Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Kroh and Bishop James Johnston.

“This next step will better facilitate living out a unified vision and mission among our Catholic schools in St. Joseph.,” said Father Malewski. “It’s vitally important that we all know what we’re about and our ultimate goal. The mission and vision was already given by Jesus Himself: “Go make disciples . . .” While we want to educate our youth to be successful in the work world, we also want to help form them to be true disciples of Jesus who will continue to live their faith out in the world and build up the Church as a whole. It is a blessing and an honor to be a part of this hopeful future for our Catholic community.”

Benefits of the single entity structure of St. Joseph Catholic Academy include Catholic liberal arts opportunities such as foreign languages and fine arts, advanced technology, STEAM, robotics, and other diverse electives; expanded professional development opportunities for teachers and staff; consistency in curriculum that is engaging, builds foundational skills and develops disciplined thinkers; and centralized administration.

“Catholic schools are dependent upon the people, the communities and the vision that make them up: students, families, teachers, coaches, leaders and administrators,” said Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop James Johnston. “I am proud to see how the people of St. Joseph never lose sight of the unique mission of its Catholic schools and continue to be passionate about fulfilling it.”

Next steps in establishing St. Joseph Catholic Academy include continued communication with teachers, staff, parents, parishioners and the St. Joseph community; researching similar systems across the country to get a firm grounding and ensure the best possible system for St. Joseph; fostering teacher preparation; studying curriculum options; pursuing new funding; as well as branding for St. Joseph Catholic Academy and marketing strategy.

“I am proud to see St. Joseph Catholic Schools continue to make history in the way they are approaching the spiritual and academic needs of their students,” said Karen Kroh, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Learn more, and stay up to date on progress, at stjosephcatholicschools.com or St. Joseph Catholic Schools on Facebook.

About St. Joseph Catholic Schools
The mission of St. Joseph Catholic Schools is to build and foster a thriving, collaborative & sustainable K-12 Catholic School System in St Joseph, Missouri that educates the whole person through unique attention to academic and spiritual formation, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph Catholic Schools teach the lessons its students will need as they strive to share with the world their gifts and talents, so that in all things God may be glorified. The Vitality in Catholic Education plan emphasizes the development of the whole student in Catholic teachings and values and seeks to stabilize, and eventually increase, enrollment to reach more students across the St. Joseph area.

About the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was established in 1956 when the Dioceses of Kansas City (founded in 1880) and St. Joseph (founded in 1868) were combined. Led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., the Diocese is home to nearly 124,000 Catholics in 87 parishes, 10 missions and 35 schools across 27 counties in northern and western Missouri. Under the guidance of Bishop Johnston, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues its mission to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live and serve in charity in northern and western Missouri. kcsjcatholic.org

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