A veteran Catholic educator has been selected to become superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Patrick Slattery, currently president of Skutt High School in west Omaha, will take the post July 1, Archbishop George J. Lucas announced Friday.
Slattery, 40, will succeed Monsignor James Gilg, who since August has served as both superintendent and executive director of a new Omaha Catholic Schools Consortium.
Gilg was named superintendent in 2006. Before that, he was Skutt’s founding president.
In his announcement, Lucas said that Slattery, with his years of experience, “knows both the challenges and possibilities” in each of the archdiocese’s schools.
“I am confident that he will be an effective leader in the important work of Catholic education, on which so many of our students and families depend,” Lucas said.
Deacon Tim McNeil, the archdiocese’s chancellor, said archdiocesan officials think Slattery will be a good fit because of his experience, creativity and energy. He also is a proven collaborator.
“He’s really admired by his peers,” McNeil said.
Slattery said he has felt called to the position. He was excited about a document that lays out a long-term strategic vision for Catholic education in the archdiocese.
That document was preceded by a plan for strengthening Catholic schools and parishes in east Omaha. That plan calls for closing three schools at the end of the school year and for placing five others in southeast Omaha in the consortium, which will have a common governance.
Slattery said the vision document lays out more than 50 calls for action. “I know it’s a challenge, but I’m excited to take that on,” he said.
Slattery served as Skutt’s president and principal from 2006 until this school year, when the school split the job to give him more time for advancement opportunities and appointed a separate principal. Slattery was principal from 2004 to 2006. He held the same post at St. Matthew School in Bellevue from 2002 to 2004.
A Connecticut native, Slattery also has held administrative posts with a private school in Baltimore and a boarding school in Marlborough, Mass.
Last year, Skutt, now in its 20th year, was named a National Blue Ribbon recipient by the U.S. Department of Education. During his time at Skutt, enrollment has grown and students have improved their college entrance exam scores.
Slattery said Skutt’s board discuss transition plans. Both he and Gilg will attend.
Slattery holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He and his wife, Beth, have two children.
Combined, the 73 schools in the archdiocese have the fourth-largest enrollment in the state with more than 19,000 students.
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