New leadership structure to be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year
Recognizing the changing demands of modern school leadership, Saint Mark’s High School will be adopting a new model for the next school year. The “President-Principal” model, which is used by more than two-thirds of all Catholic secondary schools across the country, entails having a head of school, the President, who focuses on “big-picture” and external areas such as advancement, admissions, board governance and strategic planning, and a Principal who focuses on the day-to-day running of the school in terms of academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.
The model, approved by the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, will be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year. Mr. Thomas Fertal, the current Principal, has been appointed to the role of President by Bishop W. Francis Malooly. Fertal is no stranger to the model as he has served in both roles during his career in Catholic education. “This is the most effective model and one that will serve Saint Mark’s very well,” Fertal commented. “The dynamic of having two competent and passionate senior leaders, each focusing on distinctly different areas of school operation, will ensure that we continue the remarkable renewal currently underway at Saint Mark’s while more effectively serving all of our constituents,” he added.
The renewal Fertal references includes the school enjoying a 52% increase in alumni giving over the last year as well as a 20% increase in total school enrollment over the same time period.
Bishop Malooly has named Mrs. Diane Casey as Principal. Casey currently serves as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Saint Mark’s. She has held numerous administration positions in her career including that of Principal. She is very excited about the move. “Saint Mark’s is an incredible community that I have been so very blessed to be a part of. I look forward to serving our students, faculty and staff in this new role,” she said.
Mr. Francis Corrigan, current Assistant Principal for Mission and Academics, will maintain his position. The position of Assistant Principal for Student Affairs will be posted in the near future.
Diocesan Superintendent Dr. Lou De Angelo expressed his enthusiasm for the model, stating that “this new structure will allow for the continued good work of the faculty, staff and administration of Saint Mark’s in serving their students and families. I join Bishop Malooly in congratulating the administration and board and offering to them the full support of the Catholic School’s Office.”
Bishop Malooly, in his letters of appointment to Fertal and Casey, wrote, “Your work at Saint Mark’s High School over the past two years has resulted in a new spirit for the school community, along with increased enrollment, greater Advisory Board, parent, and community support, and a broader presence of the school in the diocese and local and state communities.”
He continued, “Be assured of my prayers for your success through the intercession of Saint Joseph in this year dedicated to him and to our Blessed Mother who leads all of us to her Son.”