New principals, presidents ready for 2015-16 school year

By Erik Zygmont
Ezygmont@CatholicReview.org

Twitter: @ReviewErik
The Catholic Review profiles 17 new school principals and presidents in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 
Anders Alicea
Principal
Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Baynesville
A former student support liaison for Baltimore City Public Schools and dean of students at the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore, Alicea said he wants to “maintain a learning environment where both students and adults understand their gifts and talents as ingredients to their own growth and to the growth of others, of the school community at large.”

He has earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford (Pa.) College, and a master’s in teacher leadership from The Johns Hopkins University. He is working toward a certificate of advanced studies in education from Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

A parishioner of St. Matthew in Northwood, Alicea enjoys mathematics.

As a student, he said, “I enjoyed solving the problems and applying the problem-solving techniques to more difficult questions. It was in teaching, though, that I fell in love with the conceptual and multi-disciplinary applicability of mathematics.”
Lauren Beeson
Principal
The Visitation Academy, Frederick
Beeson has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, double majoring in education and biology, and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Ashland (Ohio) University. 

She plans to “help each student and teacher meet their fullest potential by providing differentiated instruction to students, launching an interventions services support team that involves both teachers and licensed medical professionals, and encouraging and supporting teachers with professional development.”

For the past four years, Beeson coordinated, administered and wrote curriculum for the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science program, a federally-funded extracurricular program in which students experience science in a laboratory setting. 

As a student, Beeson’s favorite subject was science, which she said was “all about the teacher, Mr. Layshock.”
“He was an all-knowing wizard that made science come alive,” she said. 
Casey Buckstaff
Principal
St. John the Evangelist School, Severna Park
Buckstaff knows St. John the Evangelist particularly well, as a parishioner of the parish and having served as the school’s assistant principal from 2011 to 2013. Most recently, she was principal of Monsignor Slade Catholic School in Glen Burnie, and has also served as an administrator at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Essex. 

Her objectives include creating a 21st-century education experience rooted in Catholic values, fostering parent-educator relationships, and focusing on each child’s development through the elementary years. 

In her own student days, she enjoyed English.

“I loved … seeing the outcomes of the thoughtful process of conveying my ideas,” she said.

Buckstaff earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and a master’s in teaching from what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University. She pursuing a master’s in nonprofit administration from the University of Notre Dame. 
Alexa Cox
Principal
Monsignor Slade Catholic School, Glen Burnie
Cox, who served Slade as assistant principal from 2009 to 2015, said that she plans to “emphasize the Catholic presence” while “moving the school forward technologically and continuing to build and nurture our school community.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating magna cum laude. She earned a master’s in educational leadership, administration and supervision from Loyola University Maryland. 

As a student, Cox enjoyed reading.

“Books opened up the world to me, as they still do today,” she said, adding that she remains a voracious reader. “Even today, I read four or five books at a time.”
John D’Adamo
Principal
Our Lady of Grace School, Parkton
D’Adamo has a bachelor’s degree in English education from Mount St. Mary’s University and a master’s in liberal studies from Loyola University Maryland, as well as a master’s in administration and supervision of schools from The Johns Hopkins University.

Most recently, he was principal of St. Ursula School in Parkville, and before that assistant principal of Immaculate Conception School in Towson, where he is a parishioner.

“As a student, I loved the creativity of English,” said D’Adamo, who taught the subject at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore for 10 years. 

As principal of Our Lady of Grace, his goal is to “instill a love of faith, community and learning in my students. We are working hard to lead more families to discover our wonderful school in Parkton.”
Margaret Dates
Principal
St. Joseph School, Cockeysville
Dates, who has served as principal of St. Pius X School in Rodgers Forge and St. Clare School in Essex, said, “I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the faculty and families to challenge and support the students to be the best they can be.”

A parishioner of St. Pius X who also worships at St. Joseph, Dates has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in school counseling from Lynchburg (Va.) College. She also has a certificate in administration and supervision from Loyola University Maryland, and similar certification, but geared toward independent schools, from The Johns Hopkins University. 

As a student, she enjoyed language arts.

“I appreciated the rules of grammar and writing, and I have fond memories of diagramming sentences,” she said. 
Deborah Glinowiecki
Principal
St. Ursula School, Baltimore
A graduate of what is now Loyola University Maryland, Glinowiecki also holds administrative certifications from the Maryland State Department of Education. She is a 40-year veteran of the public school system, most recently having served as principal at Jacksonville Elementary School in Phoenix, Md. since 2001. 

Glinowiecki has been a parishioner of St. Ursula for approximately 20 years and serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. 

“My motto has always been, ‘Make a difference in a child’s life every day,’ ” Glinowiecki said. “My goal will be to guide the students to become socially conscious, Catholic-infused, academically knowledgeable citizens ready for whatever tomorrow might bring.”

Her own favorite subject has always been math.

“There may be different ways to attack a problem, but the answer is always the same,” she said. 
Lois Gorman
Principal
Our Lady of Victory School, Baltimore
“I’d like for my teachers and staff to love coming to work and my students to love coming to school,” Gorman said. “I hope I can motivate everyone to be the best they can be, regardless of their position.”

Gorman earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle school education from Salisbury University and a master’s in leadership administration from Goucher College.

A parishioner of St. Isaac Jogues in Carney, Gorman has worked for US Airways, the Maryland School for the Blind, Baltimore County Public Schools and St. Dominic School in Baltimore. 

As a student, she was fond of math and science. 

“Problem solving has always been something I enjoy, whether it is with numbers, words or day-to-day issues,” she said, adding that she “absolutely” loves the outdoors. “God has provided us with a great deal of beauty.” 
Fametta Jackson
Principal
Cardinal Shehan School, Baltimore
An educator in Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools for more than 18 years, Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in science and master’s in curriculum and instruction from Coppin State University, and an administration certification from what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University.

As a student, her favorite subject was social studies. 

“I really enjoyed learning about history, studying other cultures and discovering root causes for beliefs and issues we have today,” she said. 

A parishioner of St. Matthew in Northwood for more than 30 years, Jackson has served as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and a children’s liturgy minister.

“As principal, my goal is to help students develop their personal relationship with the Lord,” she said, “because when they do so, they will begin to discover a sense of accountability and responsibility for how they live their lives and how they treat others.”
William Heiser 
President
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Baltimore
A parishioner of Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City and father of two sons attending Resurrection–St. Paul School, Heiser most recently served as principal of Catonsville High School. He previously was principal of North County High School in Glen Burnie, and served as assistant dean of the college of arts and sciences at Loyola University Maryland. 

At Cristo Rey, he hopes to “inspire greatness in others” and to “build a pipeline of college-educated students who will transform their communities in Baltimore City.”

Heiser earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in school counseling from Loyola University Maryland and a doctorate in higher education administration from Morgan State University.

As a student, he said, “my favorite subjects were always in the social sciences because I had a keen interest in learning about individuals, groups and organizations.”
Sharon Johnston
Principal
The Catholic High School of Baltimore
Johnston served as director of Catholic High’s Archangel Program, a college preparatory program for young women with learning differences. Before that, she taught middle school at St. Michael the Archangel School in Overlea, where she serves the parish as a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. 

“My main objective as a principal and educator is to help our students become critical thinkers – to help them understand the process of finding the answer as much as the answer itself,” she said. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Towson University and a master’s in leadership in teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

As a student, her favorite subject was English. She said she loves both reading and writing.
“Being a good writer is vitally important because it helps you communicate your thoughts and ideas to others,” she said.
Thomas Powell
President
St. John’s Catholic Prep, Buckeystown
Powell is fresh off 12 years as president of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg and adopting four children from East Timor with his wife, Irene. 

“We believe Dr. Powell’s leadership will help grow our institution to achieve greater success, improving its reputation as the finest college preparatory school in the Frederick community, while at the same time maintaining a vibrant Catholic identity,” said Jim Plamondon, chairman of St. John’s board of directors. 

In March, Powell told the Catholic Review that one of his proudest accomplishments at the Mount was reasserting the school’s Catholic identity.

With three adult children in addition to the four he adopted, Powell has plenty of experience with young people.

“Some people like to play a lot of golf,” he said in March. “We like kids.”
David Ring
President
Institute of Notre Dame, Baltimore
IND’s first male president, Ring most recently served 10 years as superintendent of schools of the Delmar School District, which serves Maryland and Delaware. 

He will prioritize “developing a strategic plan that speaks to sustainability with regard to financial governance, institutional and academic advancement, and enrollment criteria,” he said. 

Ring earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa.; a master’s in education from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia; and a doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

A history buff, Ring enjoys reading historical accounts related to politics, the Catholic Church and “societal issues that shape and define American culture.” 

He is a parishioner of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, in Middle River. 
Jennifer Ripley
Principal
St. Pius X School, Baltimore
Ripley began her educational career at St. Pius X, where she is a parishioner; taught at Our Lady of Grace School in Parkton for a year while doing graduate work; then returned to St. Pius X. In 2010, she became assistant principal. 

As principal, Ripley said, “I want to get into the classrooms and see firsthand what students are learning, what interests them and what engages their creativity and imagination.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University, dual majoring in history and secondary education, and a master’s in secondary education from Towson University. She also earned administrative certifications at Towson.

As a student, Ripley’s favorite subject was social studies. 

“I am fascinated by the story of how the world came to be, and how individual people have impacted the world,” she said. 
Patricia Ruppert
Principal
Sisters Academy of Baltimore
A Baltimore native and alumna of the former Seton High School, Ruppert has worked for the last three years in Archdiocese of Washington schools, as principal of St. Catherine Laboure School (now closed) in Wheaton, and as assistant principal of St. Francis International School in Silver Spring.

“That experience in particular helped to prepare me, since many of the students of St. Francis experience similar socio-economic hardships as the students of Sisters Academy,” Ruppert said. 

A parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua in Gardenville, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Towson University and a master’s and certificate of advanced studies in education from Loyola University Maryland.

“My main objective this school year is to keep the momentum and vision going that was started by School Sister of Notre Dame Debbie Liesen while bringing my own unique gifts and talents to this amazing community,” Ruppert said. 
Jane Towery
Principal
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer School, Rosedale
Towery previously served as principal of School of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland, St. Joan of Arc School in Aberdeen and St. Rose of Lima School in Brooklyn. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from The Catholic University of America in Washington and a master’s in Catholic school leadership from Boston College. She also has a doctorate in curriculum development and supervision from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

As a student, Towery’s favorite subject was religion.

“I was very inquisitive about faith and philosophical topics and had great teachers who encouraged and challenged me,” she said. 

At St. Clement, she said, she intends to “listen, learn, celebrate and challenge … in what has quickly become a very special community to me.”
Michael Wright
Principal
School of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland
At the School of the Cathedral since 2007, Wright began as a middle school teacher and team leader, and became assistant principal in 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling (W.Va.) Jesuit University and a master’s in  leadership in teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

A Cathedral parishioner, Wright enjoys history.

“When I was younger, I liked the story-like nature of it,” he said. “As I grew older, I began to understand how the past shapes our future, and to me that is fascinating.”

Wright said that his main objective will be “building teacher capacity so that Cathedral students continue to excel and meet the leadership needs of an evolving world.”

See also:

New Little Italy pastor among eight clergy assignments

From diverse starting points, eight new seminarians converge on path to priesthood 

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