Archdiocese of Baltimore announces new superintendent of Catholic schools

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Dr. Donna Hargens

Baltimore, MD, July 2, 2018 – Mr. James Sellinger, Chancellor of Education, announced today the appointment of Dr. Donna Hargens, Ed.D. as Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Dr. Hargens most recently served as Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in Louisville, the largest school system in Kentucky and the 25th largest in the nation. She previously served as Chief Academic Officer for Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina, Interim Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction (PK-12), and Western Area Assistant Superintendent. In addition, she has been a principal, assistant principal and a high school Spanish and English teacher.

During her tenure as Superintendent of JCPS, Dr. Hargens improved overall math and reading scores in all subgroups, as well as increased overall reading and math scores by 10.2 points for non-gap students and by 8.6 points for gap students. She was instrumental in leading efforts to improve college and career readiness, and boost the district high school graduation rate to 80.1% in 2016. She also worked closely with the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic School system in a number of areas, including a summer program to prepare young children for kindergarten.

Dr. Hargens was recognized in 2012 by U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, as “The Featured Superintendent” at the National School Turnaround Summit. In 2013, Business First named her the “2013 Enterprising Woman Making a Difference,” and in 2015, Today’s Woman named her “Most Admired Educator.”

Her appointment comes after an extensive national search to replace former Superintendent, Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, who resigned in July of 2017 to serve as Chief Leadership and Program Officer for the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

“We are excited to have such an experienced educational leader join our team. Dr. Hargens is passionate about Catholic education and has a proven record of working collaboratively with teachers through her knowledge of curriculum and instruction to increase student achievement.  She is the consummate professional and we are looking forward to her leadership as we prepare our students for college and careers in the 21st century,” said Chancellor Sellinger.

Dr. Hargens graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She holds a Masters of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University.

“I am blessed and humbled to serve the families, students, and schools of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the role of Superintendent of Catholic Schools. I am eternally grateful to my parents for their investment in my Catholic education, and look forward to joining Chancellor of Catholic Schools, Jim Sellinger, and the team of dedicated educators to provide the foundation for a strong Catholic education for students to RISE ABOVE,” said Dr. Hargens.

Dr. Hargens begins her new role today, Monday, July 2, 2018.

About Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools: Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore provide a Christ-centered education that is academically excellent and empowers students to reach their full potential–spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and morally. There are 44 Archdiocesan Catholic schools in nine jurisdictions in Maryland, including the city and county of Baltimore. The 38 elementary schools and 6 high schools enroll more than 17,000 students and are vibrant communities of faith and learning. For more information on Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, please visit 



Archdiocese of Baltimore