New York Catholic Schools Celebrate Our First Day of School

Students from across the Archdiocese of New York were seen entering their schools for the first day of the 2023-24 school year. Click on the links below to view some of the media coverage:

Father Vincent Capodanno Academy, Staten Island, covered by Staten Island Advance. School officials welcomed families and students with smiles and waves, and the entrance of the school was set up with decorations and a photo prop so families could capture the memory. Click here to view the coverage.

St. Joseph’s School, Yorkville, Manhattan, covered by The Good Newsroom. Click here to view the coverage. Sister Mary Grace Walsh ASCJ, Ph.D., the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, welcomed new and returning students back to school upon their arrival and was present during St. Joseph’s School’s first morning assembly of the school year, led by Principal Theresa Berner.

St. Philip Neri School, Bronx, click here to visit The Good Newsroom on Facebook and view some of the sights and sounds from St. Philip Neri on the first day of school. Principal Amy Rowe welcomed the students and parents and Fr. Dan O’Reilly led everyone in praying the Our Father. A great way to start the new school year!

September 8th, 2023|

‘A joyous day’ as students across Staten Island begin the 2023-24 school year

Shown above: Families and children step into Father Vincent Capodanno Catholic Academy, South Beach, for the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)
Click here for additional photos and family stories.
September 7th, 2023|

NY Catholic Schools Superintendent Talks Faith and Excellence on Good Day New York

In this enlightening interview for Good Day New York (Fox 5), Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., Superintendent for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, discusses the value of faith-centered Catholic education and academic excellence with anchors Rosanna Scotto and Bianca Peter. Together, they explore the value of Catholic education and the vibrant future of NY Catholic Schools.

Click here to watch the video!

September 6th, 2023|

Jann Amato, Regional Superintendent, Staten Island, Featured in Staten Island’s Women in Business

Jann Amato, our incoming Regional Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Staten Island Region of the Archdiocese of New York, was recently profiled in Staten Island’s Women in Business profiles presented by SI Parent, and authored by Catriona Morton:

Jann Amato has over 23 years of experience in the Archdiocese of New York. Formerly the principal of Notre Dame Academy High School, Ms. Amato, in her role as regional superintendent, assumes a broad range of responsibilities, primarily the strengthening of solid Catholic faith communities, the supporting of and championing the stellar academic achievements of our Staten Island schools, and the promotion of student recruitment and marketing strategies to all schools in her region.

Click here to view the full article!

September 5th, 2023|

Social Media’s Impact on Youth Mental Health Discussed by ADAPP’s Christine Cavallucci

In a Catholic Faith Network (CFN) Live segment, Christine Cavallucci, Executive Director at ADAPP, highlights the effects of social media on mental health and emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries. Cavallucci, a recognized expert in the field, provides valuable insights into the potential risks associated with excessive social media use among youth. Watch this informative segment here.

Parents and families seeking guidance can find valuable resources and information at,  which are provided by ADAPP (Archdiocese Drug Abuse Prevention Program). These resources are designed to help navigate the challenges faced by young people and promote positive mental health outcomes. Visit to learn more and access available support.

July 5th, 2023|

Summer Reading Ideas — 189 Great Books for Catholic Kids

What should we read this summer? Parents, grandparents, godparents, teachers, and catechists often struggle to find high quality books for children that will spark a love of reading. We are pleased to share this list of 189 Great Books for Catholic kids, crafted by Word on Fire Spark, which includes classics (and a few new titles) to enjoy with the young readers in your life.

The books are organized according to genre/age group: board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, and graphic novels. Whether these books explicitly communicate truths about our Catholic faith or merely delight the young reader, these are stories with merit. (But please keep in mind that you know your young reader best and each book may not be the right fit for every child.)

Click here to download the list!

May 12th, 2023|

Central Westchester Schools Come to the Aid of 2 Families Devastated in Home Fires

May 10, 2023. Principal Helena Castilla-Byrne, Principal of Our Lady of Victory School in Mount Vernon New York has jumped in to aid two of her school’s families who lost everything in a fire on Tuesday morning, May 9.

Mrs. Castilla-Byrne reached out to her own school community and to nearby Catholic schools in the Central Westchester Region of the Archdiocese of New York and requested help for the families. So far, these schools have stepped up with much-needed aid:

Mrs. Byrne confirmed that Our Lady of Victory School is doing a dress-down day today to raise money for the families as well. And more help is on the way, as others have reached out to help as well.

This heart-warming story demonstrates the strong love and community that binds the amazing people in Catholic schools together in times of need.

May 10th, 2023|

Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D. to serve as Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York

The following statement was issued today by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan:

If we were not still observing the holy season of Lent, I would probably begin this letter with one word: Alleluia! But, since we still have a few more days to go until Easter, allow me to say that I write to share some very good news.

After an extensive search process, wide consultation, and much prayer, Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., has accepted my invitation to serve as the next Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. She will succeed Mr. Michael Deegan, who, as you may recall, will be retiring from that role at the end of the current academic year, after many decades of splendid service to Catholic education here.

Sister Mary Grace is no stranger to the Archdiocese of New York. A member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a religious congregation of women with a particular devotion to education, she has served in the archdiocese as both a teacher and principal in our Catholic schools, as well as receiving a Ph.D. in Educational Administration/Church Leadership from Fordham University.

In addition, among her many other assignments, she has served as Provost for Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Hartford, and prior to that as Superintendent of Schools and Secretary of Education and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Bridgeport. Currently, Sister Mary Grace is President of Cor Jesu Academy in Saint Louis, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association, and a Trustee of Foundations in Education. She is a Provincial Councilor for her religious community and serves as a director on all of their corporate boards.

It’s no secret that our Catholic schools have faced tremendous challenges in recent years. It was just a few weeks ago that we announced the sad news that 12 of our excellent schools would cease operating after this school year. We’ve been fortunate to have Mike Deegan as the Superintendent of Schools to help us meet those challenges, and his upcoming retirement – which he delayed, at my request, for several years – would have left me anxious about our future had we not been able to find an educator of the quality of Sister Mary Grace Walsh to succeed him. She has already shared with me that she looks forward to serving in this archdiocese, and, in her words, “to working with the priests and pastors, the many dedicated teachers, principals, and staff in the schools, the benefactors who do so much to keep them running, and, most especially, the parents and students, all to give our young people an outstanding academic and spiritual formation, and a future full of hope.”

I trust that you join me in welcoming Sister Mary Grace back to the Archdiocese of New York, and in my promise to keep her, and the school community we serve, in our prayers.

A blessed Holy Week, and a joyous Easter to come. With prayerful best wishes, I am,

Faithfully in Christ,

+ Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

March 27th, 2023|

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York Report Continued Excellence in Test Scores

ELA Scores Up +7.3% Math Scores Hold Nearly Steady to Pre-Pandemic Level

Actions Taken During Pandemic Proved to be Difference in Mitigating Learning Loss

As the 2022-2023 academic year begins, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York are proud to report their scores on state exams in both Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Once again, the Catholic values-infused curriculum taught in the Archdiocese of New York has produced results that lead most schools in the state of New York.

Recently released scores for 2022 from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for grades 3-8 reflect nearly 52% of students passed math and 64% of students passed reading.

Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York have maintained this level of excellence with the support and leadership of His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Catholic Schools invested heavily in curriculum, student supports, professional development, technology, and social-emotional support for students and staff alike. These efforts mitigated and often eliminated the degree of learning loss experienced in school systems around the country.

“Our ELA scores jumped by 7.3 percent, while our math scores held steady with a slight decline from pre-pandemic levels,” said Mr. Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York. “This is a testament to the dedication of our pastors, principals, and teachers in delivering a Christ-centered, academically excellent education. These results demonstrate that our work will continue to achieve positive outcomes and elevated expectations for all our students.”

In NYC (New York City) government schools, 49% of all students passed reading and 37.9% passed math. Looking nationally, while different from a state assessment, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a special administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) reading and mathematics assessments to examine student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic which revealed average scores for age nine students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020.

Superintendent Deegan has previously noted that state test scores are one factor of academic success; the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York use multiple measures of student growth and achievement. Deegan recently wrote an op-ed “Wising up to Testing” In the New York Daily News- that outlines the commitment of Catholic Schools to the ongoing growth and achievement of their students using NWEA MAP. On the NWEA MAP test, the average Catholic school student consistently outpaces the 50th percentile compared to peers across the country.

“These results demonstrate that the proactive steps we took, the bold decisions we made—not the least of which was to open our doors for in-person learning in September 2020—made the difference in combating pandemic-induced learning loss,” said Mr. Deegan.

We are still welcoming admissions for the 2022-23 school year, and you can click here to apply for this year while space and financial aid are still available. Now is the ideal time to visit and select the right school for your child. Scholarships will be available: the earlier families apply, the better their chances of receiving financial aid.

Click here to view and download the press release.

October 5th, 2022|

How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings — A Parent Resource

Available today from Child Mind Institute, Rachel Ehmke, author of “How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings” offers strategies for dealing with anxiety — your kids’ and your own — in the aftermath of tragic school shootings. Click here to read the article online, and click here to download a pdf of the article.

Also available are three articles to help kids cope with scary situations:

Additional parent and student resources are available from ADAPP, including: Information and Resources on Mass Violence and Recent School Shootings.

June 14th, 2022|

Day of Prayers for Ukraine: More than 60,000 Catholic School Students, Faculty and Staff Gather to Pray

On Monday, March 28, more than 60,000 students, faculty, and staff of all Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of New York joined in spirit for a Day of Prayer for Ukraine. Please see this coverage of our Catholic schools’ Day of Prayer for Ukraine from our friends at the Catholic Faith Network. Utilizing a suggested curriculum and prayers provided by our Office of Catholic Identity, they discussed the situation facing families, just like their own. Our Catholic school community prayed for their safety and an end to all hatred, war, and violence in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and around the world–even here at home.

Our mental health experts and crisis counselors at ADAPP have also provided sensitive, age-appropriate resources for conversations about war you may wish to have with your children and how to put those concerns into perspective in our part of the world. It is important to note that our Catholic schools have a good number of families from Ukraine and of Ukrainian descent, and we stand ready to support and comfort each of them in their time of need. We are also grateful to have received inquiries from relief organizations and will welcome with open arms, any Ukrainian children fleeing the violence in their homeland.

Please also see this variety of media coverage from our Day of Prayer:


PIX11 News


May God protect the people of Ukraine and those providing them comfort and relief.

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools

Photo: mural by students at St. Brendan School Bronx

March 30th, 2022|

Daily News: Catholic Ed. Surges

In this Daily News article, Joanne Kroeger writes: “After nearly two years of a devastating pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the nation’s school systems, the city’s Catholic schools have been experiencing something only a little short of a miracle.

Consistent safety protocols, combined with clear and steady communication with parents, have resulted in high in-person attendance levels — and a surge in enrollment after decades of decline.

In the haze of COVID closures, chaos and confusion, Catholic schools have become a safe haven for students. Since September 2020, 100% of the city’s 170 Catholic schools have remained open with very low infection rates even during the omicron surge‘, said Michael Deegan, superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York.”

Click here to see the full article.

Click here to see an additional interview with Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan.

February 7th, 2022|

New York Post Special Section: Catholic Schools Week Directory

In a special section devoted to Catholic Schools Week, New York Post reporter Mary Kay Linge writes: “Catholic schools build a foundation for children that will last a lifetime.” Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York Michael J. Deegan is quoted in the article, saying: “Education is a fundamental pillar of the Catholic Church. We believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, and we respect and honor that role. Our schools support parents as they shape their children into becoming other-centered, generous and faithful adults.”

Click here or on the image below to read the full article!

January 31st, 2022|

Catholic New York Article: Latino Outreach Program ‘Like Talking With a Relative,’ Says One Parent

In an article in yesterday’s Catholic New York, Armando Machado reports, “At the archdiocesan School Superintendent’s Office, the Latino Outreach Program helps Hispanic families navigate the intricacies of school application, enrollment and financial aid procedures, in Spanish for parents and guardians who are not fluent in English or simply feel more at ease with their native language. The outreach efforts include the use of social media.”

Click here to read the full article!

January 13th, 2022|

Considering a New York City Catholic School for Your Family

In an article in New York Family that appeared on January 13, 2022, Jaclyn Griffith writes about the impact of school choice, saying:

It’s hard to imagine a decision that impacts your child’s present and future more than the decision of which school they will attend. Academics, community, relationships, location, guiding principles—all of these are sure to influence your family’s school choice. While considering the overwhelming number of options, it’s important for parents to understand the benefits of a Catholic school education in New York City.”

Click here to read the full article!

Photo: New York Family | Getty Images

January 13th, 2022|

2023 Year-End Newsletter for New York Catholic School Families

Are you caught up on the incredible news and accomplishments within our Catholic schools community? Don’t miss out on these exhilarating highlights!

Lights, Camera, Archies! Honoring Reel Talent in Student Multimedia Journalism

Stepping into the limelight after years of virtual showcases, the highly anticipated Archies competition, an archdiocesan-wide student video-journalism extravaganza, finally had its grand moment! At the Catholic Faith Network’s state-of-the-art studio facilities, talented elementary through high school groups gathered to celebrate their original videos, submitted in response to the theme, “How are we, as the body of Christ, called to serve?”

Presiding over the occasion, Msgr. Jim Vlaun, President and CEO of the Catholic Faith Network, joined forces with seasoned reporters and dynamic co-hosts Monica Morales of PIX11 and Lisa LaRocca of News12 Westchester to present coveted Archies awards and share invaluable insights with our budding student journalists. Don’t miss out on this electrifying showcase of talent and inspiration—tune in to the show here on our YouTube channel and witness the brilliance firsthand!

A Golden Legacy: Superintendent Deegan Recognizes 50+ Years of Service to Catholic Education

As we prepare to bid farewell to Superintendent Michael J. Deegan, we pause to reflect on and honor his exceptional contributions to Catholic education. His remarkable 50-year career as an esteemed educator and superintendent is exemplified by his recent receipt of the prestigious NCEA Lifetime Commitment to Catholic Education Award. This well-deserved recognition celebrates his unwavering dedication and the lasting impact he has made on the educational community.

We invite you to delve into the inspiring interviews with Superintendent Deegan on The Good Newsroom, PIX11, and the NCEA podcast. Through these conversations, he shares invaluable insights and inspiration that have shaped the landscape of Catholic education and touched the lives of countless students and educators.

Scaling New Heights: An Innovative Educational Model at St. Philip Neri School

As the scaffolding rises in front of St. Philip Neri, a captivating new chapter of educational excellence and community empowerment unfolds. The Archdiocese of New York is making significant strides in expanding education and community resources at St. Philip Neri in the Bronx. This ambitious undertaking encompasses not only structural renovations but also the introduction of the St. Philip Neri Catholic Education and Family Center—a groundbreaking pilot program designed to revolutionize the educational experience at St. Philip Neri School and provide comprehensive support.

Enrolled families and the wider community will have access to an elevated level of educational, faith, and social services offered by the archdiocesan offices. Delve into the inspiring details of this visionary initiative by exploring the extensive coverage provided by the National Catholic Reporter, News12Bx, and the Bronx Times.

Commencement Chronicles: Highlights From Our Graduation Ceremonies

As we approach the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year, our graduation ceremonies serve as a profound testament to the transformative impact of Catholic education. At St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cardinal Dolan bestowed his blessings upon 2,000 Catholic high school seniors. The uplifting ceremony gained attention from CBS New York and The Good Newsroom. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, Cardinal Dolan proudly celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of nearly 600 elementary school graduates at Our Lady Star of the Sea. The memorable event was beautifully documented on SILive.

We would also like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Christine Le, the valedictorian graduate of Our Lady of Refuge School. This fall, Christine will be joining her two sisters at the prestigious Bronx High School of Science. The Le family’s heartwarming story can be found on News12, adding to the inspiring narratives of success within our community.

Summer Learning Made Fun: Unlock Educational Resources Through Ready4K!

We encourage families to take advantage of the summer break to keep their child’s skills sharp, particularly our youngest learners. Our valued partners at Ready4K have curated a collection of helpful resources that can make learning enjoyable and engaging. We invite you to explore the informative flyers they have prepared, available in both English and Spanish:

These materials offer valuable tips and activities to promote learning and growth during the summer months. Let’s make this summer a time of continued learning and exploration for our children!

June 15th, 2023|

PIX11: Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York, Michael Deegan, is retiring

Join us in watching this recent PIX11 interview with Monica Morales, showcasing an exclusive tribute to Superintendent Michael J. Deegan. After an exceptional 50-year career as an esteemed educator and superintendent, Mr. Deegan will be retiring in August. Don’t miss this insightful interview, which features a special appearance by Cardinal Dolan.

Click here to watch the interview!

May 22nd, 2023|

Child Nutrition Program for Catholic Schools Issues a Request for Bids for 2023-24 School Year

IMPORTANT NOTICE: REQUEST FOR BIDS BY THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION for National School Breakfast, Lunch, Special Milk, Fresh Fruit & Vegetable, and After-School Snack Programs

Sealed bids are requested by the Child Nutrition Program, Archdiocese of New York, Department of Education (“CNP”), for a contract beginning in school year 2023/2024, for services as a food vendor, including the furnishing and delivery of required foods and supplies for CNP’s National School Breakfast, Lunch, Special Milk, Fresh Fruit & Vegetable, and After School Snack Programs (collectively referred to as the “Programs”). A separate bid may be submitted for food service operations (pre-made meal preparation and delivery) of Universal Pre-K Schools on Staten Island.

All those interested in submitting bids may obtain Request for Bid packages, containing details and specifications of the Programs beginning Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EST by e-mailing a request to There will be a question-and-answer session open to all interested bidders to be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Please contact to obtain the meeting invitation and link to the virtual Q & A session.

From May 17, 2023 to June 5, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. EST, all interested bidders are welcome to submit any questions electronically via the above e-mail address with addenda being distributed to all vendors. Bids in sealed envelopes must be submitted to HMB Consultants, LLC, at 3 Douglas Lane, Voorheesville, NY 12186 up to and including Friday, June 9, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. EST. All bids will be opened on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 in the CNP office of the Archdiocese of New York. The successful bidder(s) will be notified by telephone or e-mail after 12 p.m. EST on Friday, June 16, 2023, with regular mail confirmation to follow.

May 16th, 2023|

Jann Amato to Become Regional Superintendent of Staten Island Catholic Schools, effective August 2023

Superintendent of Schools, Michael J. Deegan, is happy to announce the appointment of Jann Amato as the new Regional Superintendent of Staten Island,  effective August 2023.

Mr. Deegan is grateful to the members of the search committee and thanks Msgr. William Belford, Pastor of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus, Deacon James Cowan, Chair of the Regional Board of Trustees for Catholic Schools of Staten Island, Tara Hynes, Principal of Our Lady of Good Counsel,  Vincent Sadowski, Principal of  St. Patrick School, Ray Vitiello, Regional Superintendent of Northeast/East Bronx,  Joanne Walsh, Associate Superintendent of Early Childhood, and Sr. Anne Massell, Associate Superintendent for Leadership for their insight and service to the interview and search process.

Ms. Amato has over 23 years of experience in the Archdiocese of New York. She holds New York State Certification in School Building Leadership, a Master of Education in School Counseling, and New York State Certification as a Permanent School Counselor. Since 2019, Ms. Amato has been the Principal of Notre Dame Academy High School on Staten Island. Previously, she has been a teacher, school counselor, academic dean, and an assistant principal.

Ms. Amato, in her role as Regional Superintendent of Staten Island, will assume a broad range of responsibilities, primarily the strengthening of solid Catholic faith communities, the monitoring and assessing of the academic achievements of the schools, the oversight of the regional office staff and the promotion of student recruitment and marketing strategies to all schools in her region. Ms. Amato will continue to build upon the strong foundation formed through the extraordinary leadership and legacy of Mrs. Zoilita Herrera, who faithfully served Staten Island as Regional Superintendent, Principal, and Teacher over the last 44 years.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Ms. Amato to her new role. We look forward to her leadership on Staten Island and the impact she will have on our Catholic Schools.


Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

May 1st, 2023|

Catholic Schools Invite Students to Register Today for This Year’s FREE Summer Journey!

Our Catholic school families are invited to register for our upcoming Summer Journey program being hosted by Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese of New York. We’re very excited to keep our doors open for the summer and provide our students with a free, safe, fun, and academic-driven learning experience. This program blends engaging, project-based learning with plenty of fun, and gives our kids an opportunity to reinforce what they are learning during this school year.

Here are the details:

  • Who should enroll: Students in Grades K-7 who are currently enrolled in an Archdiocese of New York Catholic School
  • When is the program being held: Monday through Thursday, from July 5th to August 10th
  • Where: Virtual or in-person options are available

A few of the great features of Summer Journey:

  • Exciting Field Trips: We get outside with visits to nature centers, museums, and landmarks in our area.
  • Local Instructors: Students will be learning from the experienced staff who work in and know the host schools.
  • Hands-On Learning: This program offers exciting lessons that encourage growth through participation and touch.
  • Engaging Curriculum: Summer Journey brings an innovative approach to educate students about the world they live in today.
  • Movement Breaks: We get kids and staff moving to teach them how to use their energy productively.

If you’re interested in learning more about it or looking for how to sign up, please visit

Registration is easy and takes less than three minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff at or submit a question directly through the website.

April 18th, 2023|

Mrs. Zoilita M. Herrera to Step Down from Role as Regional Superintendent for the Catholic School Region of Staten Island

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York issued the following statement today:

The Month of St. Joseph

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” — Psalms 32:8

Dear Catholic Schools Community,

With a heavy but grateful heart, I share the following important news. Mrs. Zoilita M. Herrera will step down from her role as Regional Superintendent for the Catholic School Region of Staten Island at the close of the 2023 school year.

I could share much with you about Mrs. Herrera’s decades of outstanding service to Catholic education on Staten Island – the many positions she has held, the number of students she has impacted, and the numerous, well-deserved awards and accolades she has received. However, she will be the first to state that she is simply performing her responsibilities to the best of her abilities, supporting her principals, faculties, and staffs in serving the Staten Island families.  Zoilita is a true Catholic educator and minister of our faith.

Those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Herrera are well aware of the indelible mark she will leave on the Catholic educational landscape of Staten Island. Throughout her 44 years, she has been steadfast in her service as an educator in Assumption School on Staten Island, school leader at Assumption School and Sacred Heart School, and the first layperson appointed to the position of Staten Island District Superintendent. She has been recognized by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the Alumni Association of St. John’s University, the St. George Theater, the Staten Island Catholic Charities/Catholic Youth Organization, the United Activities Unlimited (UAU), and was the recipient of the first annual Monsignor Peter G. Finn Educator Award. She has met challenges gracefully and confidently, empowered her school leaders to demand the best for their communities, supported them in this sacred mission, and led with empathy and respect. During the COVID crisis, her unwavering presence bolstered her principals through the most challenging times. Like me, I am certain they are eternally grateful for all Mrs. Herrera has done.

I am confident that in the coming months there will be many tributes to Mrs. Herrera. However, none will speak as loudly as her illustrious decades of service to the Catholic elementary schools of Staten Island. Through her dedication, actions, and leadership, she has built a legacy that will forever be synonymous with her successful efforts to improve and positively transform Catholic education opportunities for the students and families in her region. As our beloved Holy Father Pope Francis shared, “Catholic education is one of the most important challenges for the Church.”

On a personal note, I have known Zoilita for her 44 years of ministry to our Catholic schools and have come to admire her passionate devotion to her work as a Catholic educator and her love of family, especially, her husband Gus, daughters Deana, Christina, and Alyssa, sons-in-law, James, Thomas, and Robert, and grandchildren Brooke, Nicholas, Charles, Brynn, Zoe, Chase, and Thomas III.  Zoilita has been a treasured gift and blessing to me.  I have been enriched by our friendship and touched by who she is as a person and Catholic leader.  Zoilita, on behalf of the students, families, principals, educators, pastors, and colleagues you have touched throughout your years in the Archdiocese of New York, His Eminence and I thank you for taking the challenge of Catholic education head-on.  We wish you well in your future endeavors and hope you enjoy time with your beloved family.

In the coming months, a search will be conducted by the Office of the Superintendent of Schools to identify and appoint the most qualified candidate for this position.




Mr. Michael J. Deegan
Superintendent of Schools
Archdiocese of New York

March 8th, 2023|

12 Catholic Schools in Archdiocese of NY will not reopen, 4 will merge into 2 at the end of the academic year

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York today announced 12 Catholic schools will cease operations at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Four schools will merge into two.

Extensive broader community research, detailed studies, and careful deliberation and analysis went into the final determination of which schools would not reopen. Unfortunately, due to shifting demographics and lower enrollment made worse by the pandemic, the impact to the financial stability of these schools was detrimental. All affected families will be welcomed in neighboring Catholic schools, with applications for financial aid and scholarships available for the upcoming academic year where applicable. Additional information will be shared with school constituencies in the coming days.

“It is never a good day when we announce closures to any of our beloved schools, but the goal is always to strengthen the remaining institutions and preserve Catholic education in New York for decades to come,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. “We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact this will have on families and will provide both educational guidance and pastoral support to all those affected to ensure all children will be warmly welcomed into a nearby Catholic school. We are all in this together, and with hard work and God’s blessings, we will come out on the other side.”

“We understand these are challenging times for many families, and this is indeed a sad day for everyone in our Catholic schools community,” shared Michael J. Deegan, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. “I personally mourn the loss of every one of our great schools. However, as we process this news, we must resolve that the great tradition of Catholic education in New York will continue, and we will assist all students who are seeking to carry on their Catholic education to find a seat at another excellent school in the Archdiocese.”

The following Catholic schools will not reopen:

  • Academy of St. Paul & St. Ann, Manhattan
  • Ascension School, Manhattan
  • Guardian Angel School, Manhattan
  • Holy Family School, Bronx
  • Immaculate Conception School, Manhattan
  • Immaculate Conception School, 760 E Gun Hill Rd, Bronx*
  • Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Manhattan
  • Santa Maria School, Bronx
  • St. Angela Merici School, Bronx
  • St. Brendan School, Bronx
  • St. Christopher School, Staten Island
  • St. Margaret Mary School, Bronx

St. Francis Xavier, Bronx, will merge with St. Clare of Assisi.

St. Gabriel School, Bronx, will merge with St. Margaret of Cortona.

*There are two Immaculate Conception Schools in the Bronx, one is located at 151st Street and
operated by Partnership Schools. That school is NOT affected by today’s announcement and WILL
NOT close.

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools will work closely with each affected family to help find a neighboring Catholic school for the fall. Directors of enrollment will provide each family with information and answer any questions that they may have, whether they are about enrollment, transportation or tuition. The best resource for continually updated information will always be

The Superintendent’s Office is dedicated to working in coordination with the teachers’ union to do everything it can to help faculty of the affected schools find employment within the archdiocesan school system.

Click here for the full press release in ENGLISH | or in SPANISH

February 15th, 2023|

Linda Dougherty Interviewed by New York Post

Linda Dougherty, Associate Superintendent for Catholic Identity for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, was interviewed by The New York Post for its Catholic Schools Week Directory issue, which appeared on January 25.

The resulting article, by Post reporter Mary Kay Linge, is called “Take It As Gospel.” The article discusses how Catholic schools offer an exemplary education and the fundamentals for life. Ms. Dougherty is quoted as saying, “We’re not just a public school with a crucifix on the wall. In our schools, we’re working to live our faith every day.”

Click here to read the full article!

January 25th, 2023|

Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York Michael J. Deegan To Retire

Michael J. Deegan has announced his retirement from the position of Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York, effective August 31, 2023. He has served as superintendent for the past four and a half years, following more than 50-years as a teacher, principal, associate superintendent, and deputy superintendent.

I am so very grateful to Cardinal Dolan for entrusting me with the care and stewardship of this great Catholic school system which gave me so much as a student, as a young man and ultimately as a Catholic educator for half a century,” shared Deegan. “I often speak of ‘the mission of Catholic education.’ Perhaps for the past 50 years mine has been a mission to give back. Even though I was ultimately destined to lead the entire Catholic school system, in my heart, I never really left the classroom. I’ll always be a Catholic school teacher.”

A national search is being conducted for a successor.

Deegan is proud of his tenure during which he made certain that every student received a first-rate academic education, as well as a solid grounding in their Catholic faith. He and his team faced complex challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, proudly points to the fact that the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New York became national leaders in providing in-person instruction at a time when most school districts remained shuttered. He attributes significant increases in test scores during this time to the dedicated principals and teachers of the Catholic schools. Among the many accolades he received during his career, the one that has meant the most to him is the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Compassionate Educator Award.

Mike first asked to retire nearly five years ago, but we have been extremely fortunate that he instead agreed to my request that he stay on as superintendent,” said Cardinal Dolan. “These past five years have been among the most consequential years for Catholic education, particularly in this archdiocese, and Mike has steadfastly guided us through these difficult years. The legacy that Mike will leave on Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New York is immeasurable. I thank God for his service, and wish him and his family a long and happy retirement.”

Click here to view the press release.

December 20th, 2022|

Health Department Issues Commissioner’s Advisory as NYC Faces High Levels of COVID-19, Influenza and RSV

COVID-19 and flu are increasing nationally and in New York City; nationally, hospitalizations for flu reached the highest levels for this time of year in more than a decade.

The Advisory strongly recommends masking in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings, and other proven precautions such as vaccination, testing, hand hygiene, and staying home when sick

December 9, 2022– As New York City enters the holiday season, COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses are seeing unusually high concurrent spikes. To slow the transmission of these viruses, the New York City Health Commissioner issued a Health Advisory that urges New York City residents to use high-quality masks when indoors and in crowded outdoor settings. This is especially important for people who are – or are meeting – those who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19, RSV, or the flu, such as those age 65 and older and people who are immunocompromised.

“The holiday season is about togetherness and there is a way to gather safely – even as respiratory viruses in our city are unusually high,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “It starts with protecting yourself. Vaccination and boosters are critical but so are common sense precautions like masking when indoors or among crowds and staying home if you don’t feel well. Also, get tested before getting together, and get treated quickly if you test positive. We want everyone to have a happy and – most of all – healthy holiday.”

The Commissioner’s Advisory also urges people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu, even if they have been vaccinated previously. Everyone ages six months or older should get their COVID-19 primary series if they haven’t already and receive the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster when eligible. An annual flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Many pharmacies and doctors’ offices offer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and it is safe to get them at the same time.

The City will continue to make vaccination and masking resources available to New Yorkers. For example, between Oct. 29 and Nov. 25, around 70 community partners, along with Health Department staff, carried out the following activities:

  1. Engaged 83,558 community members at 917 in-person street level outreach events.
  2. Engaged 4,109 community members at 122 in-person community conversations.
  3. Engaged 45,093 virtual community members* at 29 virtual community conversations.
  4. Made 24,367 vaccine referrals, 6,181 testing referrals and 38,778 referrals to other health and social services.
  5. Distributed 116,066 pieces of educational literature, 344,576 face masks and 80,526 Home Tests Kits.

This is part of the overall engagement effort since July 2021 to Nov. 25, 2022, including:

  1. Engaged 1,664,561 community members at 30,544 in-person street level outreach events.
  2. Made 1,011,454 vaccine referrals, 272,872 testing referrals and 546,377 referrals to other health and social services.
  3. Distributed 5,402,745 pieces of educational literature, 3,602,719 KN95 face masks and 614,023 Home Tests Kits.

This does not include the extensive resources provided by partners such as Test-and-Trace and others.

The city also continues to launch vaccination pop-ups and other efforts to promote vaccine access and equity.

People who are at increased risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses, including people age 65 and older, infants, people with a weakened immune system, people with certain underlying medical conditions, people who are pregnant, and people who are not up to date on flu or COVID-19 vaccinations should consider additional precautions to avoid exposure to respiratory viruses, such as wearing a higher quality mask, such as KN95 and KF94 mask or N95 respirator, limiting attendance at large indoor gatherings, wearing a mask when gathering with others, and asking people to wear a mask and get a COVID-19 test prior to gathering.

As the holidays approach, New Yorkers can help protect their loved ones from COVID by getting tested before and after gatherings and wearing a mask around people who are at increased risk of severe respiratory illness. If you are sick, stay home, avoid close contact with others, and talk to your provider about what testing, care, and treatment is right for you. You can call your health care provider or 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to ask about treatment.

With respiratory illnesses on the rise, the Health Department is closely monitoring the COVID-19, influenza, RSV, hospital, and syndromic surveillance data. The Health Department has noted high levels of cases and hospitalizations for COVID, flu, and RSV. The combined impact of these respiratory illnesses puts individuals at risk and risks straining our healthcare system.

To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit NYC Vaccine Finder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment at certain sites, and for other vaccination assistance.

December 12th, 2022|

NYC Health Department issues tips for gathering and eating safely this Thanksgiving

As you celebrate this week, we hope you’re eating well and enjoying the company of loved ones. After the last two years of isolation, where our holidays were taken from us by the COVID emergency, we all deserve a healthy and happy season of thanks and celebration.

Before you dig in, here are some tips for gathering and eating safely.

Before you get together with others, get tested for COVID-19. You can pick up free at-home rapid antigen tests at NYC museums, zoos, libraries and other locations throughout the city. Many of these sites also offer free masks. To find a location near you, visit NYC At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit Pickup.

Even if you’re COVID negative, ask yourself how you feel before meeting with others. Sniffles, a light cough, a little tired? These symptoms could be signs of a contagious illness. While mild for you, they could cause serious illness for babies or people who have weakened immunity. This is especially true for RSV, which can seriously impact infants 0-12 months. If you don’t feel well, stay home.

And don’t forget. It is never too late to get vaccinated! So get your updated COVID booster and flu shot as soon as you can. It is safe to get them at the same time. To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit We have appointments all throughout the holiday week.

Now for food! For most of us, this is the best part of the season. But there are some things you may not know about keeping the season’s gastronomic delight from turning into a gastrointestinal plight.

For starters, NEVER thaw a turkey or frozen meat in hot water or by leaving on the counter. Properly thaw frozen meat by: leaving in the refrigerator (24 hours for every four-to five pounds) or by placing it in cold water (30 minutes for every pound of turkey, change water every 30 minutes, cook immediately after). Keep raw meat—like turkey—separate from other foods. The juices from raw meat may contain bacteria that make people sick. That means using separate cooking utensils, too. Wash your hands and surfaces often and wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.

Making dessert? Avoid eating foods with raw eggs, like unbaked cookie dough or cake batter. While you may know that raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella, raw baking ingredients can also make people sick if they’re contaminated with germs.

Bacteria live in the “danger zone” of 40°F to 140°F. Refrigerate your leftovers within 2 hours of serving to prevent bacteria from growing.

These and other food safety tips are included in the year-round trainings that the NYC Health Department provides to more than 25,000 NYC restaurants.

To find other safe cooking and dining advice, go to:

So dine like a pro and follow these tips for a happy and healthy holiday.

With love,

The NYC Health Department

November 23rd, 2022|

Fox News Op-Ed: Superintendent in Support of Parental School Choice

In an op-ed for Fox News published on November 16, 2022, Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael J. Deegan urges newly elected representatives everywhere to offer parental school choice for the future of all students. “Parental school choice programs are a wise investment in our future,” Mr. Deegan writes.

Click here to view the full article!

Learn more:

Passing parental school choice legislation would save taxpayer money and provide relief to the middle class. It would also make Catholic schools an option for all. To learn more about how

you can advocate for parental school choice legislation, visit

Click here or on the image below to view the full article.

November 17th, 2022|

Students Load Up a Ton of Turkeys for Thanksgiving

On one side were about 40 mid­dle school stu­dents—half from Tar­ry­town’s Trans­fig­u­ra­tion Catholic School, half from The Lef­fell School, a Jew­ish day school in White Plains. On the other side, stacks of boxes con­tain­ing some 1,250 turkeys, des­tined for area food banks in time for Thanks­giv­ing.

Help­ing the kids out where some very tall men used to toss­ing large round things: mem­bers of the Westch­ester Knicks Bas­ket­ball Team. Or­ches­trat­ing the ef­fort to move the frozen birds from out of the Stop & Shop on White Plains Road into a wait­ing truck was a team of black t-short-clad store em­ploy­ees and staffers from Feed­ing Westch­ester, whose hunger re­lief net­work sup­plies meals to over 200,000 each month.

Article by Barrett Seaman, from the Hudson Independent, November 14, 2022. Click here for the full article.

Click here for additional coverage:

November 15th, 2022|

Cardinal Dolan joins Borough President Fossella as funds are allocated to S.I. Catholic schools

Catholic schools on Staten Island will soon have more funding for programs, services, education and more, thanks to Borough President Vito Fossella’s budget allocation of nearly $460,000.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, joined Fossella to make the announcement about the budget allocation to 21 borough Catholic schools during a visit to Blessed Sacrament School, West Brighton, on Monday. The funds will be used toward expenses for those attending Catholic schools, or those seeking help from the borough’s Catholic organizations and its resources.

Click here for the full article

Photo: Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, joined Borough President, Vito Fossella to announce budget allocations for 21 Catholic schools and organizations at Blessed Sacrament School in West Brighton. Oct. 24, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Annalise Knudson)

October 26th, 2022|

NYC Catholic schools welcome students back to class without COVID restrictions

CBS News covered opening day at School of the Blessed Sacrament on the Far West Side of Midtown Manhattan — from an exciting science experiment, to the hugs and gatherings of friends, students and teachers, the day had excitement and energy. New York Catholic Schools are welcoming students back to class without COVID restrictions, and students’ reactions say it all.

> Click here to see the CBS News Clip

September 8th, 2022|
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