Diocese welcomes new principals

Aug 17, 2023
Diocese of Orlando welcomes new principals. (Left) Yesenia “Jesse” De Leon,Susan Pickles, Melissa Rangel, Anna Ramirez-Adam, Marie Gallo-Lethcoe, Kyle Schmitt. (KIMBERLEY ARGÜELLO)

ORLANDO  |  Diocese of Orlando Office of Schools welcomes six new principals for the 2023-2024 school year. Some are new to the diocese while others are veterans serving for several years.

Yesenia “Jesse” De Leon
Holy Name of Jesus, Indialantic

De Leon earned an education specialist degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education and a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in reading and elementary education from Florida International University. Previously serving public schools in Miami-Dade and Brevard counties, she began her career with Catholic schools at Ascension Catholic School in Melbourne in 2012. Among her positions she served as science research and engineering program director, gifted education/STREAM enrichment program director and in 2022 she became the school’s assistant principal.

Anna Ramirez-Adam
St. Anthony, Lakeland

Ramirez-Adam holds a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. Her career in Catholic schools began in 1975 in New York where she served four schools over 48 years, first as a teacher and later as a principal. In 2020, she became an adjunct professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Education. That same year she assisted with teacher instruction in the Diocese of Orlando’s sister Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic.

Melissa Rangel
Good Shepherd, Orlando

Serving Good Shepherd since 2020 as a middle school religion teacher, school board advisory member and more, Rangel’s Catholic school experience began in Davenport, Iowa, in 2007. She began at All Souls in Sanford in 2009 after serving in public schools. Rangel holds master’s degrees in educational leadership and elementary education and a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University in business management with a minor in marketing.

Marie Gallo-Lethcoe
Father Lopez Catholic High School, Daytona Beach

Born in Ohio, Gallo-Lethcoe is well known in the Diocese of Orlando serving in multiple capacities for nearly 40 years, including 15 years at Father Lopez . Some of her many positions include teacher of dual enrollment theology classes for Lopez students through Barry University in Miami; as an adjunct professor; and as a consultant for the William H. Sadlier Company. Gallo-Lethcoe has a master’s degree in theology with a concentration in Scripture from the University of Dayton and an education leadership degree through Stetson University.

Kyle Schmitt
Melbourne Central Catholic High School

Working in three Catholic schools in Illinois since 2013, Schmitt is no stranger to partnering as an educator in the faith. In Illinois, he served as principal of St. Francis de Sales School in Lake Zurich, assistant principal at Most Blessed Trinity Academy in Waukegan, and coordinator of education technology at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest. He also served as president-principal of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition, his diverse talents include teaching math, science and health, and coaching baseball, football, and basketball. Schmitt holds degrees in administration and supervision, secondary social sciences, curriculum and instruction and psychology and philosophy.

Susan Pickles
Basilica School of St. Paul, Daytona Beach

A University of Florida graduate with a master’s degree in special education, Pickles most recently served as an online teacher and mentor for University of Central Florida senior education majors. Her work in Diocese of Orlando Catholic schools includes two years at St. Joseph Catholic School in Palm Bay and eight years at St. Mary’s in Rockledge. Her experience in both public and Catholic schools ranges from teaching kindergarten and varying exceptionalities to teaching third through seventh grades and creating a STEM curriculum.