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New President Named At Saint Mary’s Elementary School

Reverend Monsignor John. J. McCann, pastor of the Church of Saint Mary, has announced the appointment of Grace M. Cavallo as president for Saint Mary’s Elementary School. Cavallo is currently the president of Saint Mary’s High School as well. They will be known collectively as the The Schools of Saint Mary.  

“Three years ago, I approved a new leadership model for Saint Mary’s High School with the appointment of a president and principal at its helm,” said Msgr. McCann. “I have witnessed how this model addressed the ever-increasing complexity of administering a quality Catholic school by sharing the responsibilities of leadership between two highly qualified administrative Catholic educators dedicated to the mission of Catholic education.”

This has been a strategy that has worked extremely well for St. Mary’s High School. The collaboration of Cavallo and Principal Jonathan D. Kramer has strengthened the school community and their joint leadership has enabled the school to flourish. Now it will be applied in the elementary school as well.

Dr. Celeste M. Checchia will continue to lead the Elementary School as principal while Cavallo extends her role as president to include the lower school. The Schools will remain separate but offer opportunities for cooperative learning experiences, student mentoring, faculty partnerships and professional development, technology and science integration, athletic and service programs, and other curricular and co-curricular experiences. The school would benefit from “professional expertise focused on the strategic development and advancement of the school, in concert with academic leadership,” McCann said. In moving to the President/Principal model of leadership, Saint Mary’s follows Catholic schools across the country.

The culture of The Schools of Saint Mary will encourage and enable all to contribute to the energy and vitality of learning within a faith-based community. This partnership will enhance the identity of St. Mary’s as a Catholic school community with high standards, academic excellence, innovation, and student enrichment.

In response to her appointment, Cavallo stated, “I firmly believe in Catholic education and, as with any worthwhile organization, strategic thinking becomes a critical component in advancement.”

She credits the success of the leadership to the dedication, hard work and innovative thinking that inspired them.

“The demands on a principal are numerous, ever growing and challenging,” she said. “I can be instrumental in focusing on mission, long term planning, fiscal management, alumni affairs, board leadership, and development simultaneously while our principals use their time and expertise in responding to the critical day to day needs of the school. This new model is essential and a gift to our entire school community.”

The Church of Saint Mary has been committed to Catholic education for over 80 years. Throughout this time, the support and commitment from so many has enabled the Elementary School and the High School to be an integral part of the mission of the parish. Saint Mary’s remains committed to this vital role in the evangelization of young people and partnering with parents in this sacred work.