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WATERLOO — Cedar Valley Catholic Schools is restructuring its administration as two new people are hired and another resigns.

Directors of elementary and secondary programs will oversee preschool through grade five and grades six through 12, respectively, starting with the 2018-19 school year. The change relates to a possible future consolidation of the system’s elementary schools recommended by a strategic planning committee.

“As we looked forward to three to five years from now, there’s been an indication that we should try to locate our elementary schools under one roof, eventually,” said Chief Administrator Dale Monroe.

In the meantime, he noted the elementary director will ensure the same curriculum for all students at each grade level and the same professional development for all staff. At the secondary level, the director position will similarly enhance professional development and allow for greater collaboration in sixth- through 12th-grade.

The restructuring “all anticipates that things will change in the future,” added Monroe. No decisions have been made regarding when a potential elementary consolidation would occur or which building would be used. The system had nearly 1,100 preschool through 12th-grade students this fall in five schools.

The Board of Education on Feb. 1 appointed Daniel Thole as director of secondary programs, which includes the restructured principal role at Columbus High School. He is currently a mathematics teacher at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines.

Nick Satterlee was appointed principal of Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School. He is currently the associate dean of students at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids. He replaces Tom Novotney, whom the board appointed as chief administrator after Monroe retires in June.

Novotney said three stakeholder groups that included parents, teachers, administrators, board members and donors met with each of the men during the interview process. They were among “a handful of applicants” for the positions after the search got underway in December.

CVCS officials also announced other administrative changes expected to be approved by the board March 22. All of the new positions are effective July 1.

Aaron Becker, current principal of St. Edward School, will be director of elementary programs. He will direct programs at all three CVCS elementary schools and continue in his role at St. Edward.

Angie Beck, principal of Blessed Sacrament and Sacred Heart schools, is leaving CVCS at the end of the school year to spend more time with her family.

Aaron Ferrie, who currently leads Columbus, will be named an elementary assistant principal and be responsible for operations at Sacred Heart School. Heather Williams, currently an elementary assistant principal, will continue in that role and be responsible for operations at Blessed Sacrament.

Thole was named Dowling’s 2016-17 Outstanding Educator of the Year. He is responsible for introducing and implementing the Iowa Core standards into the mathematics curriculum, developing standards-based grading and instructing advanced level math courses at the school. He is a graduate of Loras College and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Creighton University.

At Xavier, Satterlee oversees student discipline and attendance as well as teacher evaluations and mentoring. Additionally, he teaches theology classes and facilitates faith formation and worship opportunities at the school. He is a Loras College graduate and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Ambrose University.

Mark Sinnwell, president of the board, praised the new administrators.

“They have impressive backgrounds of success and experience from two of Iowa’s prominent Catholic high schools,” he said in a news release. “Their presence on our administrative team will greatly help us advance Catholic education in the Cedar Valley.”

Other administrative changes expected to be approved next month include some shifting of duties.

Tom Ulses will be director of activities for grades six through 12. Sarah Smith will be director of advancement and buildings & grounds. Alexis Hennig will be director of communications and recruitment.

Monroe noted the restructuring includes shorter contracts for all CVCS administrators to provide a savings equal to one full-time position.

“Rather than anyone losing a job or not having a job next year, all of them took a reduction in days,” he said.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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