FALL RIVER — Last fall, after a year and a half of study, the Fall River Diocese Task Force on Catholic Education released its final report, and among key recommendations was the establishment of a centralized Catholic school board with limited jurisdiction to augment the work of diocesan school leaders for a stronger and more cohesive system.

As proposed, and approved by Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., this Central Board for Catholic Education will have as its initial focus oversight of the implementation of the extensive series of recommendations put forth by the Task Force. The Board will work in collaboration with the Catholic School’s leadership team to set system wide policies, practices, and plans and provide financial oversight.

A committee has been working with Bishop da Cunha since November to identify prospective candidates for the Board following the Task Force’s recommendation that members be drawn from “affiliated clerical, academic, professional, and geographical representative bodies.”

The process is now complete, and Bishop da Cunha is pleased to announce the membership of the new diocesan Central Board for Catholic Education: Attorney William Carline, Attleboro; Kathleen Carney-Larisa, Executive Director, Carney Family Charitable Foundation, New Bedford; Reverend Paul Caron, Pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Mattapoisett, and St. Rita Parish, Marion; Nicholas M. Christ, President and CEO, BayCoast Bank, Swansea; Reverend David Costa, Pastor, Sacred Heart and St. Mary Parishes, North Attleboro and Director of St. Mary-Sacred Heart School; Reverend Thomas Costa, Pastor, Annunciation of the Lord Parish, Taunton, and Director of Our Lady of Lourdes School there; Reverend John Denning, C.S.C., President, Stonehill College, Easton; Kevin Kiley, Chancellor, Fall River Diocese.

Also, Janet Letourneau, Practioner Faculty in Marketing, Providence College; Jean MacCormack, Ph.D., former Chancellor, UMass-Dartmouth; Reverend Jay Maddock, Pastor, Holy Name Parish, Fall River, and Director of Holy Name School; Steven Perla, Superintendent of Schools, Fall River Diocese; Reverend Christopher Peschel, Parochial Vicar, St. Pius X Parish, South Yarmouth; Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hispanic Ministry and Religious Education, Boston College; Nichole Rich, Ph.D., Educational Consultant, Norton; and Roger Sullivan, St. Pius X School Advisory Board Member, South Yarmouth.

Bishop da Cunha expressed his “deep gratitude” to all of the members for their willingness to offer their time and expertise through service on this important new Board.

The first meeting of the Central Catholic School Board is scheduled for May 15. The Board will report to Bishop da Cunha, and its work will dovetail closely with that of diocesan school administration.

“The Catholic Education Center’s (CEC) leadership team is looking forward to working with the new Central Board for Catholic Education,” said diocesan Superintendent of Schools Steve Perla.

“We are grateful to Bishop da Cunha for assembling such a gifted group of people to provide leadership for and support to advancing the mission of Catholic school education in the Diocese of Fall River.  We are especially thankful to all those individuals who have agreed to serve.”

Specific responsibilities designated for the new Central Board for Catholic Education include strategic planning, system wide fiduciary responsibility, financial aid best practices, fulfillment of mission, marketing/development, and monitoring and assessment of the progress, quality, and adherence to educational standards.

Superintendent Perla said, “I anticipate the Board will work in collaboration with all stakeholder groups to identify and develop Catholic school education policies and models that support, advance and ensure the long-term vitality of the schools.”

Diocese of Fall River
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