Pathways to Excellence II

The Department of Education of the Archdiocese of New York recently embarked on an updated Strategic Planning Initiative for Elementary Schools, which we are calling Pathways to Excellence II (note: High School Boards complete their own strategic plans and are not included in Pathways to Excellence.). Building on the framework established in 2010 in our Pathways to Excellence I strategic plan (see below), Pathways to Excellence II is designed to ensure a thriving, academically excellent Catholic school system that is poised for continued growth and longevity.

We are pleased to share our fully completed Pathways To Excellence II Official Report, which uses seven domains to examine the opportunities and challenges the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York will encounter in the next three years. It identifies objectives for each domain and presents strategies to attain them.

We thank everyone who participated in our strategic plan survey and all those who contributed their time and ideas as Committee members for each of the domains, which included:

  1. Catholic Identity
    Co-Chairs: Linda Dougherty, Sister June Clare, O.P., Ed.D.
    While parents are the primary models for their children’s education and behavior, Catholic schools provide a consistent understanding and interpretation of shared faith and values. This strategic plan seeks to identify ways to strengthen the partnership between educators and families to benefit each child and ensure that graduates are well-educated young adults who are formed in their faith and who can take on leadership roles in the Church and the world.
    Committee Members: Paige Sanchez, Teresa Sopot, Jill Albert, Rev. Michael McLoughlin, Rev. Robert Grippo, Teacher: Roberto Placido
  2. Leadership
    Chair: Steven Virgadamo
    The future success of Catholic schools relies on a harmonious collaboration among all the stakeholders in Catholic education: priests, principals, teachers, parents, the Office of the Superintendent and other concerned religious and lay people. This strategic plan seeks to strengthen the ways each of these constituents can work together to channel their energy and creativity to ensure the continued success of our Catholic school system.
    Committee Members: Frank Vitteritti, Msgr. Joseph Giandurco, Jim Hayes, Angela Deegan, Katherine Harman, Bob Flanigan
  3. Teaching & Learning
    Co-Chairs: Zoilita Herrera, Dr. Noelle Beale
    Building on a strong foundation of high standards, this strategic plan seeks to identify and implement additional ways, both traditional and technology-based, to enhance curriculum and instruction, and ensure that teachers and administrators receive the support and professional development they need to create a rich academic environment to optimize student achievement, and develop confidence and a love of learning in every child.
    Committee Members: Eileen Murtha, Ernie Zalamea, Andrew Woods, Lisa Ferraro, Joanne Walsh, Kate Peck, Dr. Susan Miller, Michael Coppotelli. Teacher: Kristine Shashty, Instructional Specialist: Sara Shea
  4. Enrollment Management
    Co-Chairs: John Riley, Kathleen Krall
    The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York are committed to re-establishing a dynamic system of fully enrolled schools. This strategic plan seeks to identify and implement more effective marketing and outreach programs; engagement efforts; financial assistance and scholarship awards; and technology solutions to attract new families, enhance the experience of current families, and convey the unique and lasting value of a Catholic education to the wider community.
    Committee Members: Thomas Smith, Maureen McElduff, Caroline Sliney, Tera Hynes Paul Carty, Glenn Pellino, Teacher: Frank Iurilli
  5. Communications
    Co-Chairs: Cathleen Cassel, Nicholas Iacono
    Future enrollment depends on broadening and improving communications efforts across the Archdiocese. This strategic plan seeks to identify and implement more effective communications, including social media, public awareness and public speaking platforms and engagements, to enhance public perception of the schools as strong, viable, accessible and affordable sources for an outstanding, value-centered education.
    Committee Members: Norma Arnold, Daniel Murphy, Daniel Mileno, John Kelly, Elise McVeigh, Bethany Negersmith
  6. Student Services
    Co-Chairs: Mary Jane Daley, Michael Coppotelli
    The Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have developed policies and services to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students. This strategic plan will envision future enhancements to our services in the areas of health and nutrition; substance abuse prevention; environmental safety; transportation; emergency response; and public advocacy, among others.
    Committee Members: Connie McCrory, Cathy Hufnagel, Josephine Fanelli, Matt Mahoney, Msgr. Ed Whalen, Steven Pallonetti, Megan Barrett, Christine Cavallucci, BriAna Pechin, Kathy Grande, Cathy Hufnagel, James Varay
  7. Governance and Finance
    Co-Chairs Governance: Damian Hermann, Bob Billings
    Chair: Finance Committee: Michael Deegan
    Catholic education has been challenged in recent decades: the models developed since the early 19th Century to meet the needs of a rapidly growing Catholic school population must now be reconfigured to reflect 21st century realities. This strategic plan seeks to extend the regionalization, reconfiguration and reinvestment plans implemented as part of Pathways to Excellence I, to ensure that every child has access to a Catholic education, even if the school is not located within a parish boundary.
    Governance Committee Members: Susan George, Mary Ann Fusco, Melanie Shugart, Robert Ranieri, Teresa Lopes, Mary Ellen Cilento

Overall Steering Committee, Pathways to Excellence II: Dr. Timothy McNiff (chair), Michael Deegan, Steven Virgadamo, Mary Dobson, Michael Coppotelli, Daniel Murphy, Dr. Noelle Beale, Rev. Stephen Norton, Wendy Gittings, Ed Fitzgerald, Rev. Arthur Mastrolia, Rev. Anthony Sorgie, John Donovan

Pathways to Excellence I

Throughout two centuries, the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York have maintained a steadfast dedication to educational excellence and Catholic culture rooted in faith, service and personal responsibility.

Inspired by that tradition, a three-year strategic plan, Pathways to Excellence, was initiated in 2010 to help the elementary schools of the archdiocese fulfill their critical mission as Christ-centered, academically excellent and welcoming communities.

Implementation entailed careful study and candid assessment of the school system’s strengths and areas for potential improvement. Designed not only to preserve, but advance Catholic education in New York, Pathways outlined critical objectives and realistic strategies to ensure the long-term success of a healthy system of fully-enrolled schools grounded in the Catholic faith.

One of the most ambitious – and necessary – strategies of this wide-ranging plan was to keep Catholic schools accessible and affordable by transitioning most elementary schools from the historical parish-based school model to a more sustainable regional one.

With regionalization, every parish, even those without a school on the property, and those whose schools remain parish-based, has a voice and an investment in the Catholic schools in their communities.

To serve students throughout the archdiocese, Pathways to Excellence embraces present challenges as an opportunity for change and renewal. It envisions current and upcoming leaders who will provide the bold, creative and energetic direction that will sustain the mission of Catholic education for generations to come. Pathways to Excellence reaffirms that the support of Catholic education is a communal, ecclesial duty that extends beyond the parents of school children and the parishes where schools are located.

Now, everybody is doing their part, sharing responsibilities and working together to ensure a bright and vibrant future for Catholic education in New York.

Pathways to Excellence Strategic Plan