So as not to encourage confusion in the city of Green Bay, the Green Bay Gazette recently released an article about Holly Rottier’s new position as the Director of Education in the Diocese of Green Bay. Although many Catholic diocesan school systems are led by “superintendants,” Green Bay has organized all education and catechesis under one leader. Although Green Bay is not the only diocese to be organized in this way, it makes an important statement about Catholic education and catechesis. As the article points out, a Catholic school superintendant is different from a public school superintendant in that Catholic schools have much more autonomy compared to public schools in public school systems. According to Rottier, “we are working in all of the schools locally…and trying to make [initiatives at the diocesan level] fit at every school, no matter what those resources are.” She will also be responsible for faith formation of adults as well as children religious education programs. Ideally, this would combine the strengths of both Catholic schools and parish-based religious education programs and promote unity rather than division between the two fields. For more information about the Department of Education in the Diocese Green Bay visit: http://www.gbdioc.org/department-of-education.html.
Catholic schools are at a crossroads in the United States today. It is time for innovation or closure. Many dioceses have turned to innovative models to improve the quality of the education they offer in their schools as well as work toward sustainability. The Diocese of Green Bay recently reorganized 10 Catholic schools under the name “Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) to help improve and sustain schools. Under this new system, GRACE schools will be supported by centralized leadership in its president Dr. Carol Conway-Gerhardt and the many committees dedicated to various school needs: education and Catholic identity, marketing and public relations, development, finance and facilities, and human resources. For a temporary webpage for the GRACE System, visit: http://sites.google.com/site/cseabainc/Home.
Wow, this is a tall order. I am interested to see how they will do with this set up. It is great to work together, however Catholic School principles and teachers have many challenges and needs that are completely different than DRE’s and catehcists.