Catholic School Matters

February 11, 2018

New Catholic Schools

Last week I wrapped up the Turnaround podcast series. I initially recorded 10 episodes but ended up adding three additional schools (All Saints in Omaha, St. Jerome’s in Maryland, and Mt. St. Mary HS in Oklahoma City) who contacted me to share their great stories. This week, I turn my attention to new Catholic schools. The series will serve as a roadmap for any Catholic community desiring a new school and I hope it inspires more great work. So far, I’ve recorded 15 episodes which will drop over the next three weeks.

On Monday, I’ll talk to Faustin Weber, the founding principal of St. Michael Catholic High School outside Mobile. The school opened in 2016. Here is an aerial view of the campus, the initial recruiting video, and the announcement of cardinals as the mascot. This is a comprehensive Catholic high school and Weber will share how the culture of the school was created along with the dynamics of raising money, designing, recruiting students, etc.

On Tuesday, I’ll talk to Ted Hanes, the founding principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton High School in rural South Carolina. The school opened last fall. The school is built on a much smaller scale and has been a struggle for Hanes and his supporters. But it’s a remarkable story!

On Wednesday, I’ll talk to Andi Kane, the founding principal of St. Ignatius High School in the Boise suburb of Meridian. This was by far the largest new Catholic elementary school to open this year and Kane shares her ideas on design, recruiting, and fund-raising. St. Ignatius has a web page dedicated to web links and stories. There’s also a great story on the Basque community of Boise (partly the reason for the name of the school).

On Thursday, I’ll talk to Fr. Richard Rocha, the founding president of St. Michael the Archangel High School in suburban Kansas City. Opened this year, the school is brand new and represents a consolidation of two previous Catholic high schools. The efforts to create a brand new school culture are interesting.

On Friday, I’ll to Karen Fagg, the president of the Billings Catholic School Board and a long-time supporter of Billings Catholic Schools. Last fall, the Billings Catholic School system realized a long-time dream by building a brand new school for St. Francis Catholic Schools. Coincidentally, the school sustained major damage yesterday (Saturday, Feb 10th) from a burst pipe and will have to undergo extensive renovations once the water is cleaned up.

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Dr. Tim Uhl

Big picture

What I'm Up To

The Church Documents podcast series has wrapped up and now I'm presenting a series on new Catholic schools. Here is the landing page for Church Documents resources and the podcasts which can serve as a PLC. Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Here are videos showing you how to download and subscribe to a podcast on iTunes and how to download and subscribe a podcast on Android.

This week I'm preparing for two upcoming WCEA site visits, participating in two virtual board meetings, working on the principal evaluation process, celebrating Ash Wednesday with the Great Falls chancery, and visiting the three schools in Great Falls:

  • Monday: Office (Helena) & NCEA Leadership Advisory council; Podcast #104: St. Michael Catholic HS (Mobile)
  • Tuesday: Office (Helena); Podcast #105: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton HS (South Carolina)
  • Ash Wednesday: Chancery & school meetings (Great Falls); Wed book blog: Learning Transformed by Thomas Murray & Eric Sheninger; Podcast #106: St. Igatius Catholic School (Boise)
  • Thursday: Office (Helena) & St. Paul Education Association virtual meeting; Podcast #107: St. Michael the Archangel HS (Kansas City)
  • Friday: Office (Helena); Podcast #108: St. Francis Catholic School (Billings)

Miles this week: 245 driving miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 16,938 road miles; 27,398 air miles

American Catholic News

Catholic School News

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning




  • VIsions for Excellence Soul of Youth Sports Conference Feb 21-23
  • Convention, April 3-5 Cincinnati


  • Feb 13: Service Learning
  • Feb 21: Jewish Refugees & the Holocaust

February Parent Engagement Flyer

Winners of the Lead, Learn, Proclaim Awards 2018

What I'm Reading

  1. Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today (2017) by Eric C. Sheninger & Thomas C. Murray
  2. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town (2017) by Brian Alexander
  3. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division by Anthony Muhammad
  4. Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church (2017) by Chris Lowney
  5. Leadership on the Line Ronald Heifetz & Marty LInsky (1989) by Carl E. Larson & Frank M. J. LaFasto

Click this link for a full list of my professional reading along with links to Wed Book Blogs

For Montana Administrators & Teachers

  • The USCCB and NCEA have come up with a great FAQ for 529 plans. This should be included in parish bulletins!
  • Here is the slideshow from the Feb 6th Virtual Meeting. Please read Chapter 8 "Reflection" of Redeeming Administration for the March 6th meeting.
  • Stillwater Christian has extended an invitation to their Feb 26th Googlefest. Here is the link to the registration form

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

February 4, 2018 "Turnaround Schools, Part 2"

January 28, 2018 "Turnaround Schools"

January 21, 2018 "Synthesizing Church Documents"

January 14, 2018 "What's Brewing in Milwaukee"

January 7, 2018 The 411 on 529's

December 17, 2017 Best of the Fall Issue

December 10, 2017 Serving Hispanic Catholics

December 3, 2017 Building Culture the ND Way

November 12, 2017 "How Are We Building Relationships?"

November 5, 2017 "Journal of Catholic Education"

October 29, 2017 Church Documents

October 22, 2017 Momentum Special Issue

October 15, 2017 "Anthem Protests"

October 8, 2017 Classroom Managment Special Issue

October 1, 2017 "The Un-Themed Issue"

September 24, 2017 "Joy of the Gospel"

September 17, 2017 "ESSA"

September 10, 2017 "On Leadership"

August 27, 2017 "American Catholic News"

August 20, 2017 Back to School Issue