Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien announced today that Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ronald J. Valenti, will be retiring at the end of the current school year after nearly 20 years in the Division of Schools. Dr. Valenti, a native of Philadelphia, joined the Archdiocese in 1990, serving as Secretary of Education before being appointed Superintendent in 1992.
Dr. Valenti, who noted he wishes to remain active in the field of education, believes the time is right for new leadership for Catholic schools in anticipation of the strategic plan being developed by the Archbishop’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Schools.
“The work being done by the Blue Ribbon Committee is extremely important and will require a long commitment. The timing is right for someone else to build further on what we have accomplished, to take our schools to the next level…someone looking through a different lens,” Dr. Valenti said.
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore underwent a number of positive changes during Dr. Valenti’s tenure, including the requirement that all schools be accredited by the Middle States Association, the creation of the PRIDE program for children with special needs, and the raising of expectations for academic achievement through curriculum mapping.
Dr. Valenti’s leadership also led to the development of PowerSchool, a popular web-based system that tracks students’ grades, attendance records, schedules, etc. and Operation Teach, a teacher recruitment and training initiative in cooperation with the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
“On behalf of the entire Archdiocese, I extend my gratitude to Dr. Valenti for his many years of dedicated service to the students, principals, teachers and staff of our Catholic schools,” Archbishop O’Brien said. “Known to arrive to work before five every morning, Dr. Valenti’s unwavering dedication to the academic, faith-filled excellence of our schools has benefited every student and every school under his care these past two decades. We will miss him very much.”
Prior to coming to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Dr. Valenti served as a teacher and administrator in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia school system for 25 years. He became the first lay principal in the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s history in 1975.
Dr. Valenti’s last day with the Archdiocese will be June 30, 2010.