Catholic Schools Welcome New Leaders

The start of the school year is marked with new beginnings — new teachers, new classes and, for some, new classmates. At six diocesan schools, the 2015-2016 academic year will also bring new principals, who will lead the children in their educations and faith journeys. The new leaders officially began their duties on July 1. Three additional schools welcomed new principals mid-year during the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition, a new director was named to an early childhood learning center.

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The start of the school year is marked with new beginnings — new teachers, new classes and, for some, new classmates. At six diocesan schools, the 2015-2016 academic year will also bring new principals, who will lead the children in their educations and faith journeys. The new leaders officially began their duties on July 1. Three additional schools welcomed new principals mid-year during the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition, a new director was named to an early childhood learning center.

Henry Fortier, superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Orlando, said the incoming class of principals and director brings a wealth of educational experiences as well as a deep love and knowledge of their faith. They share their thoughts on the value of a Catholic education.

20150807 orl bradyANITA BRADY, Ascension Catholic School, Melbourne
Short Bio:
Thirty years ago, Anita Brady joined the Ascension Catholic School faculty as a fourth grade teacher. Throughout the years, she has taught first, second and eighth grades and has served as the computer lab/technology instructor. In 2002, she was named technology administrator and eight years later, assistant principal.

Education:
Brady earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Florida and her master’s in instructional and educational technology from National University. She is currently taking graduate courses toward certification in educational leadership from Florida State University.

Favorite Scripture Quote:
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

20150807 orl brucheyJESSICA BRUCHEY, St. Joseph Academy, Lakeland

Short Bio:
Jessica Bruchey’s professional career has been spent in Catholic education in the Diocese of Orlando. She began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Winter Haven in 2003. She spent 11 years teaching at the school in a variety of capacities before being named assistant principal in 2008. She will now continue her career at St. Joseph Academy in Lakeland as principal, a position she assumed earlier this year.
Education:
She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of South Florida in Lakeland.

Favorite Scripture Quote:
The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” Psalms 23:1

20150807 orl helwigDAWN HELWIG, St. James Cathedral School, Orlando
Short Bio:
Dawn Helwig joined the St. James Cathedral School staff in 2007 as a guidance counselor. In 2009, she was named assistant principal, but also continued to serve as the guidance counselor for the next two years. In addition, she was teaching as an adjunct professor at Valencia College, Osceola Campus. Prior served as assistant principal at St. James Cathedral School since 2009. Prior to her educational career, Helwig worked as a therapist and social worker in Illinois.

Education:
Helwig earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn, and a master’s degree in counseling and psychological services from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis. She is expected to complete her professional Florida State Teacher Certification in 2017.

Favorite Scripture Quote/Statement on Catholic Education:
Parable of the Sower of Seeds, Matthew 13:1-23 ,“Like the parable, our goal in Catholic education is to share the gospel values with our students and help them each grow into their faith so that they share and serve God and others,” she said. “’Produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’ Our students come to learn and leave to serve.

20150807 orl lamortePAT LaMORTE, Father Lopez Catholic High School, Daytona Beach
Short Bio:
Prior to being named principal of Father Lopez Catholic High School, Pat LaMorte served four years as an assistant principal at Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando. Throughout his career, he has taught digital media and imaging, photography, and television production in high schools in New Jersey.

Education:
LaMorte holds a bachelor’s degree in technology education and a master’s degree in communications, both from Kean University in Union, New Jersey. He also holds teaching certifications in New Jersey and Florida.

Favorite Scripture:
“I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go: (Joshua 1:9).

20150807 orl marshallCATHERINE MARSHALL, St. John Vianney Catholic School, Orlando
Short Bio:
Catherine Marshall brings 30 years of experience to the Diocese of Orlando, previously serving as a teacher and principal in Tennessee and Maryland.

Education:
She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio, and master’s degrees in school administration and in religious studies from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Marymount University- Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Religious Studies in Arlington, Va., respectively. Marshall is also certified for Teaching English as a Second Language.

Favorite Scripture: “One who has no love for the brother he has seen, cannot love the God he has not seen. Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 5:20).

20150807 orl nadeauNATHAN NADEAU, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, Orlando
Short Bio:
Throughout most of his career, Nathan Nadeau has served as a teacher and administrator in the Diocese of Orlando. After teaching a year in Spring Hill, Fla., Nadeau came to the diocese where he has taught at Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando and All Souls Catholic High School in Sanford. Most recently, he served as assistant principal at Annunciation Catholic Academy in Altamonte Springs before being named principal of St. Charles Borromeo earlier this year.

Education:
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Leo University. He is also a master catechist in the diocese.

Favorite Scripture Quote: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41).

20150807 orl nayaNERY NAYA, Sts. Peter and Paul Early Learning Center, Winter Park
Short Bio:
After working for two different title companies for seven years, Nery Naya found her place in education. Since 2014, Naya has served the children of Sts. Peter and Paul Learning Center as a VPK teacher. She is ready to serve the children at a new level as director of the center.

Education:
She holds a bachelor’s degree in professional administration from Barry University in Miami Shores, a master’s of education in curriculum and instruction from the American College of Education in Indianapolis, and recently completed coursework in early childhood education from Penn Foster University in Scottsdale, Az.

Favorite Scripture Quote:
“I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. (Philippians 4:13)”

20150807 orl peters-gipsonLATRINA PETERS-GIPSON, St. Andrew Catholic School, Orlando
Short Bio:
Half of Peter-Gipson’s teaching career has been spent in the Diocese of Orlando. Hurricane Katrina brought her to Central Florida and Good Shepherd Catholic School in Orlando in 2006. There she served as a Pre-K4 teacher. Three years later, she was appointed VPK director. In 2013, she was named assistant principal at Good Shepherd and later director of the entire center. She began her tenure as principal of St. Andrew in February.

Education:
Peters-Gipson holds an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Delgado Community College in New Orleans, a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a minor in elementary education from Southern University at New Orleans, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla.

Favorite Scripture Quote:
“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these,’” (Matthew 19:14).

20150807 orl roncaJOSEPH RONCA, Basilica of St. Paul, Daytona Beach
Short Bio:
Retirement could not keep Joseph Ronca out of the classroom. After more than 30 years as an educator and school administrator, working in schools along the East Coast, Ronca returned to the classroom months after his retirement to serve as a substitute teacher at the Basilica of St. Paul Catholic School. A year later, he was named principal.

Education:
Ronca holds an associate degree in education from Daytona Beach Community College, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education form the University of Central Florida, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Nova University in Ft. Lauderdale.

Favorite Scripture: “In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost” (Matthew 18:14).

20150807 orl wyattLOURDES WYATT, Divine Mercy Catholic School, Merritt Island
Short Bio:
Wyatt joins Divine Mercy Catholic Academy with over 27 years of experience in elementary school education and administration. Prior to joining Divine Mercy, she served as admissions advisor for Melbourne Central Catholic High School for three years. In addition, she served as principal for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Melbourne from 2007-2012, and taught kindergarten through 8th grade at Ascension Catholic School and Columbia Elementary School for 15 years. She also taught Brevard County adult education English and Spanish courses for eight years.

Education:
Wyatt holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Florida and an educational specialist degree in Catholic educational leadership from Barry University in Miami Shores. She is a certified Master Catechist in the Diocese of Orlando.

Favorite Scripture Quote:
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11 ).