Steve Perla, a veteran administrator and leader in Catholic education, will serve as Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Fall River Diocese while the selection process continues for a permanent candidate for the post.
Fall River Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., announced that the interim appointment will begin on August 1, 2016.
Perla comes with more than 30 years’ experience in Catholic school education as a former senior leader for the University of Notre Dame’s international Catholic schools consulting organization, ACE Consulting; as Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Worcester; as a teacher at Notre Dame High School in Fitchburg; and as a public policy advocate as executive director of PACE, the former statewide Parents Alliance for Catholic Education.
Bishop da Cunha expressed his sincere appreciation to Steve Perla for his willingness to take the position for the short term to help the Diocese at an important time.
“With his extensive background he comes ready to step in to lead our Catholic schools as well as to work with the Schools Task Force as it completes its study, while we continue the search process to select the right person to serve as Superintendent on a permanent basis,” the Bishop explained.
For his part, Perla said he is grateful for the opportunity and is eager to partner with Bishop da Cunha, the diocesan leadership team, pastors, Catholic school leaders, and Catholic school parents and students to strengthen Catholic education.
“Since the diocesan-wide ‘Schools Task Force’ will soon be making its recommendations regarding the future trajectory of Catholic school education in the Diocese of Fall River, this is an especially meaningful time for the Catholic school community that I look forward to serving, he said.”
In his work with ACE Consulting, Perla assisted over 150 Catholic schools and 50 (arch) diocesan Catholic School Offices with strategic planning and decision making in the areas of faith development, academics, stewardship, and leadership. In his administrative and advocacy roles, he successfully executed new Catholic school governance models, leveraged school assets to alleviate operational expenses, and secured public policy support for a variety of services ranging from early education vouchers to special education services.
The search for a new superintendent for the Fall River Diocese began in June following the decision of former Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael S. Griffin to return to the Hartford Archdiocese, where he had previously taught and been principal, to become superintendent there.
Persons interested in applying for the Superintendent of Schools position can find a job description and details here.