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Springfield Dominican to Lead Chicago Catholic Schools

Sr. Mary PaulSPRINGFIELD, IL, March 3, 2008--Dominican Sister of Springfield, IL Sister M. Paul McCaughey, OP will become Superintendent of the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago, beginning on July 1st.  Sister M. Paul is the current president of Marian Catholic High School.. 

Sister M. Paul accepted the position at the urging of Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, and with the blessing of her religious community, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield.

“It is an honor for the whole congregation that Sister M. Paul’s gifts and organizational skills are being recognized by the Archdiocese of Chicago,” Dominican Sisters of Springfield Prioress General Sister Rose Marie Riley, OP said. “Her vision and foresight will bring the educational community together for the good of the children and the church.”

The 1967 graduate of Marian Catholic certainly has no intention of leaving the Marian “family” when she leaves Marian Catholic High School, which bears indelible marks of her leadership.

Through Partnership 2000 and The Courage to Lead capital campaigns, Sister Mary Paul was a guiding force in the construction of a new fine arts wing, a competition gymnasium, and the newly built Leadership Center/Student Union. Tremendous progress has can also be seen in the additions of a new college room, greenhouse, Campus Ministry area, two science labs, and the $1.9 million Dominican Way classroom addition.

Under her leadership, Marian Catholic has earned a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon in 1995-1996, and Marian has twice been named to the Catholic High School Honor Roll (2004, 2006), which recognizes the Top 50 secondary schools in America.

“The whole thing began, quite truly, as a favor to a wonderful local pastor last November, to go and talk to a search committee,” said Sister M. Paul, who has degrees from Quincy, St. Louis, Notre Dame and DePaul universities. “Talk I did, expressing my feelings about education in the Archdiocese, stressing that, while I was grateful for this opportunity to ‘speak my piece,’ I may not be the one they wanted for their job - and I already had a job I loved.”

“It is critical that the Marian community know that things are being put in place here, so that we will not miss a beat in ‘teaching scholars with a soul,’ Sister M. Paul said. “While this move still leaves me a bit in shock, I am humbled by it and aware of the challenges and the tremendous possibilities.”

The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, who have sponsored Marian since it opened in 1958, will be seeking a successor over the course of the next several months. Meanwhile, Sister M. Paul plans to leave Marian with the excellence she has been so instrumental in achieving.

“I am energized to really cap off The Courage to Lead campaign through the goodness of so many-- and to complete as many of its priorities as possible with the help of the Advisory Board, TC2L Campaign Leadership, and the MCHS community, and the construction leadership of Maintenance Supervisor Harvey Mazur,” Sister M. Paul explained.

“My love for this place, the constraints on my time, and the need to keep a focus on both roles does not allow for any long goodbyes, but I will be always just around the corner to join the Marian constituency for pieces of our 50th Anniversary Celebration next year.”

Along with dozens of appointments to significant committees and associations, Sister M. Paul’s path to the Archdiocese of Chicago follows a career of excellence in education since 1970. Serving as Marian’s principal for all but two years from 1992-2004 and President since 1994 , McCaughey also served as principal of Springfield’s Sacred Heart Academy and Sacred Heart-Griffin High School from 1985-1991.

Sister M. Paul taught at her alma mater in 1993-94 and also held teaching/administrative roles at Rosary High School in Aurora, Illinois and Routt High School in Jacksonville, Illinois

Sister M. Paul will leave Marian in the extremely able hands of Principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait and Chief Financial Officer Bill Hogan. Meanwhile, Mary Moffatt , currently serving as a consultant, has accepted the role of Vice-President of Institutional Advancement. Sr. Kathleen Anne will serve as spokesperson for the school should there be an interim time prior to the appointment of a President..

“The principal truly ministers to the very heart of the school - to its students, its staff, its teachers, and its parents,” Sister M. Paul said. “The complex and awesome work of education that is only achieved in the classroom, activities, and guidance is the provenance of the principal. We are blessed to have someone with competencies, confidence, and who is willing to cement the ‘center’ of Marian Catholic High School. Without Sr. Kathleen’s effective leadership, any change could not even be contemplated.”

“Bill’s accounts are handled with tremendous integrity. His eye on our financial health and his honest cautions have helped us to more clearly define our priorities and reach our goals. Mary’s passion for the mission and her loyalty to the Dominican Sisters is matched only by her gracious warmth and ability to marshal the resources needed with honesty and energy.”

Sister M. Paul plans to finish out the 2007-2008 academic school year at Marian Catholic before starting her first day with the Archdiocese schools this summer.  

The Archdiocese of Chicago has a total of 256 schools - 217 elementary and 39 high schools in Cook and Lake counties.  There are approximately 96,197 students and 5,257 teachers.

Video interview with Sr. Paul

visit Marian Catholic High School

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