Anne-Marie Welsh

Kennedy Catholic Middle School and High School, Hermitage, Pa.

Representatives from Partners in Mission, a full-service consulting firm focused on developing excellence in Catholic school advancement and leadership, is in the Shenango Valley area this week to work with Kennedy Catholic Middle and High School as well as St. John Paul Elementary School. The collaboration has been made possible in part by a grant from the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Erie.
"Partners in Mission are the go-to experts in this field,” says Father Jason Glover, KC ‘94, president of the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools. “With our schools now on more solid financial footing, the next step is to work on enrollment management, advancement and fundraising. Partners in Mission has an outstanding track record and I expect that working with them will bring significant results.”

Angela Surano, KC ’88, chair of the Shenango Valley Catholic School System (SVCSS) board, said members are grateful that Bishop Lawrence Persico and the Catholic Schools Office are supporting the system in this way.
“We are humble enough as a group to acknowledge where we need help,” she says, “and we feel like this is the right time for this effort. It was incredible to learn what Partners in Mission has been doing for Catholic schools across the country. Their emphasis lines up perfectly with the key areas in which we need to grow.”

Representatives from Partners in Mission are meeting with members of the community to conduct an environmental scan this week, conducting interviews with administrators and other key stakeholders as well as reviewing current processes. The organization expects to provide a summary and recommendations for the SVCSS by the end of March.

Jim Gallagher, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Erie, is pleased to support this initiative by the SVCSS.

“They have taken real ownership of the situation,” he says. “It’s an excellent use of resources, and I know they will leverage the information they gain to secure long-term and sustainable support and enrollment for Catholic schools in the Shenango Valley.”