Catholic School Matters

February 25, 2018

New Catholic Schools, Week 3

This is the third week of New School podcasts. I’ll highlight these podcasts but I’ve also included a lot of great articles on school communication in this issue. Last week, I highlighted Frassati Catholic Academy in Denver on Monday. On Tuesday, I focused on Pope Francis HS in Springfield, Massachusetts. Wednesday, it was the new Epiphany Catholic School in Katy, Texas. Thursday, I highlighted the new Ozark Catholic Academy in rural Arkansas. Friday was a podcast focusing on St Jeanne de Lestonnac HS in Temecula.

I wasn’t able to connect with all new Catholic schools. For instance, I know there is a new St. Timothy Catholic School in Kentucky and Heelan Catholic HS in Sioux City (my parents’ alma mater!) has built a new facility. But there’s always next year to focus on those as well as new schools such as Holy Cross High School in Midland, Texas. But this week, I was able to talk to 5 new schools:

Monday, I’ll talk to the founding president of Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Oklahoma City. Renee will talk about the struggles to open the new school (including a one-year delay) and the unique Cristo Rey model. Here is an article highlighting the school’s effort and another announcing its opening.

Tuesday, I’ll speak to the Renee Dwyer, the Project Manager at the new Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, St. Robert, opening this fall. Article announcing the opening.

Wednesday, I’ll talk to President Gerald Vetter of the Light of Christ Catholic Schools (Bismarck). The school system has been engaged in a robust fund-raising effort to build a new high school and improve their other schools. Article announcing the effort, another claiming success, and a third article updating the effort. The system continues to show enrollment growth.

Thursday, I’ll speak to Steve Glasser, the president of Dickinson Catholic Schools (North Dakota). He has an interesting tale involving arson, rebuilding a school, uniting a community, and success. He is interviewed here and an update was given here.

Friday, the podcast focuses on the brand new St. John Paul II High School opening this fall in western Phoenix. Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, OP, a member of the Nashville Dominicans, joins me to discuss the process of creating a new school culture and recruiting. Here is an article announcing the school’s opening, another with a progress report, and a third announcing job openings.

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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.

Weather permitting, this is a road trip week. I'll be conducting the Great Falls Central Catholic HS WCEA revisit and then joining their Advisory Council, will be stopping by Butte to check on their upcoming WCEA visit, will be joining the Missoula Catholic Schools School Board, will be visiting St. Matthew's School in Kalispell and De La Salle Blackfeet School on a swing through NW Montana.

  • Monday: Central Catholic HS revisit & Advisory Council (Great Falls); Podcast #114: Cristo Rey OKC
  • Tuesday: Office (Helena) & visit to Butte; Podcast #115: St. Robert Catholic School (Grand Rapids)
  • Wednesday: Office & MIssoula Catholic Schools Board; Wed book blog: America's Original Sin (2017) by Rev. Jim Wallis; Podcast #116: Light of Christ Schools (Bismarck)
  • Thursday: Visit to St. Matt's (Kalispell); Podcast #117: Dickinson Catholic Schools (ND)
  • Friday: Visit to De La Salle Blackfeet School (Browning); Podcast #118: St. John Paul II HS (Phoenix)

Miles this week: 798 driving miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 17,318 road miles; 29,400 air miles



  • Convention, April 3-5 Cincinnati


  • Feb 27: Google Forms
  • Feb 28: Adolescent Catechesis

What I'm Reading

  1. Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (1989) BY Carl E. Larson & Frank M. J. LaFasto
  2. Leadership Without Easy Answers (1994) by Ronald A. Heifetz
  3. Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today (2017) by Eric C. Sheninger & Thomas C. Murray
  4. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town (2017) by Brian Alexander
  5. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (2017) by Anthony Muhammad

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.
  • Here is the budgeting memo for next year with projected costs

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

February 18, 2018 "New Catholic Schools, Week 2"

February 11, 2018 "New Catholic Schools"

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