New Academies to Open in September 2011

After eighteen months of strategic planning, three new academies will open their doors in September 2011.

St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy will open in Ozone Park, Queens. The Rev. Robert Barclay was eager to establish an academy in order to “engage lay leadership in the governance of the school.” The newly constituted board of directors is actively pursuing avenues that will ensure that St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy will be a viable institution of learning for years to come. According to Father Barclay “the board of directors has made recruitment of new students a priority.” The current enrollment is 171 students (K-8). The move to a two tiered governance model, with Father Barclay, Most Reverend Frank Caggiano (Vicar General of the Diocese) and Dr. Thomas Chadzutko (Superintendant of School Support Services) as members of the corporation and Joseph Sawe, Christina Catalano, Ralph Cosentino, Anna Filosa, Madeline Hernandez, Terrence Kumar, John Lawless and Anthony Filosa as the board of directors will be an important new resource for the academy. It is expected that the new model of governance will facilitate partnerships and relationships with others who wish to support Catholic education.

Salve Regina Catholic Academy is the fruit of collaboration among the parishes of St. Rita, St. Michael and St. Sylvester. The new academy will open in September 2011and will be housed at St. Michael on Jerome Avenue in Brooklyn. After many months of study, the leadership of the three parishes/schools concluded that the most viable option to sustain Catholic education and expand the Catholic presence in the area was to come together and open one strong academy. It is projected that the new academy will enroll close to 700 students. In a joint statement, the pastors of the three parishes who have formed the corporation (Rev. Anthony Raso, Rev. Pablo Ruani and Rev. Luis LaVerdel) said, “Building on the ideas of a very strong Catholic identity, rigorous academic standards and sound finances, we believe that the academy will not merely survive, but thrive.” The transition into this model of governance will continue as the directors are identified and appointed by the above pastors.

St. Catherine of Genoa ~St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Academy will open in September 2011. Father Charles Odura, pastor of St. Catherine and Father Hilaire Belizaire, pastor of St. Therese determined that the most viable option was to open an academy on one site. In consultation with parents and teachers in both schools it was determined by the two pastors that the new academy would be located at St. Therese of Lisieux. The mission of the new academy is to offer children the opportunity to deepen their relationship with God and live a life that is reflective of Christian values. At the same time, Fr Belizaire said “We didn’t want winners or losers and so we worked with the board of directors and determined that a collaborative leadership team would be in place to assist in unifying both school communities.” Echoing those sentiments and reflecting on this collaborative venture Fr. Odura remarked “both communities will work together to deepen their knowledge, love and service to God.” The pastors together with Bishop Caggiano and Dr. Thomas Chadzutko will be the Members of the Corporation. They will be assisted in the governance of the academy by the following Board of Directors: James Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, Fred Love, Thomas Reilly and John Gillespie.