Friday, February 01, 2002

School superintendent to retire

Sister Connelly calls it quits at Archdiocese

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Sister Kathryn Ann Connelly, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for more than 18 years, announced Thursday that she will retire at the end of this school year.

        “The thing that has been my theme is to make our Catholic schools Catholic and to have them church-related schools where children can come and get the message,” said the 69-year-old Sister of Charity. “And I believe that parents are sending them for this reason.”

        Another high point for her was the results of last year's ninth-grade proficiency tests in which schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati excelled, she said.

        Of the 4,003 students who took the test in all 22 Catholic high schools, 95 percent passed the writing portion, 99 percent passed reading, 86 percent passed math, 93 percent passed citizenship and 91 percent passed science.

        Sister Connelly has been an educator for more than 40 years. A Cincinnati native, she attended St. Teresa of Avila School and Seton High School, both in Price Hill, as well as the former Our Lady of Cincinnati College before entering religious life in 1951.

        She earned degrees from the College of Mount St. Joseph and Chicago's DePaul University. She taught every grade from 1 to 12 before becoming principal of Alter High School in the Dayton suburb of Kettering, Ohio. Sister Connelly was also principal of Seton High School from 1976 to 1983.

        “She certainly kept Catholic schools as a place where faith and knowledge meet,” said Tim Reilly, principal of St. Ignatius School in Monfort Heights.

        The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has 136 Catholic elementary and high schools. It's the ninth-largest Catholic school system in the United States, with 56,515 students registered for the 2001-02 school year.

        “Sister Kathryn Ann Connelly is a national figure in Catholic school education,” said Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk.

        “She has worked with the schools in our local church to bring them to a level of excellence that each one of us should be proud of.”

        The archbishop has appointed a search committee for a new superintendent.


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