About 45,000 students are heading back to classrooms this month throughout the Diocese of Cleveland.
There are 115 schools scattered across the eight-county diocese: 95 elementaries with more than 29,000 students; 20 high schools with about 13,000 students and 57 preschools (part of elementary schools), with about 2,800 students.
As the new school year begins, there are some changes within the educational organization. On July 1, Christopher Knight replaced Margaret Lyons as the secretary for catechetical formation and education/superintendent. Lyons retired after more than 40 years in Catholic education, the last five in the top role. Knight
comes from the Diocese of Toledo, where he served the senior director of Catholic education/superintendent. Previously, he was a teacher and principal in Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Knight earned a master’s in educational administration from the University of Dayton.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Diocese of Cleveland and look forward to the beginning of the new school year. It’s always an exciting time, full of hope and the promise of good things ahead,” he said.
Gene Boyer remains as associate superintendent for secondary schools. He also heads the Newman Campus Ministry program at area public colleges. Susan Pohly continues as associate superintendent, Eastern Area elementary schools. Taking on new roles with the leadership team are Jennifer Berardinelli, assistant superintendent, Western Area elementary schools, and John Stipek, assistant superintendent, Southern Area elementary schools.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Cleveland constitute the largest school system in Ohio and the fifth-largest among dioceses nationwide. School officials said enrollment has remained relatively steady for the past several years, adding the diocesan schools moved up from sixth-largest Catholic school system nationwide to fifth-largest.
More than $9 million was distributed to families over the past several years for tuition aid and more than $750,000 was distributed for emergency assistance. The most recent scholarships were awarded on Aug. 5 at the Bishops Scholarship for Excellence awards ceremony and luncheon.
“We are humbled that so many families entrust the care of their children to Catholic schools throughout the diocese, where students grow and are formed academically, spiritually, physically and socially into all that God is calling them to be,” Knight said.
“The education and formation of children is an awesome responsibility and we are thankful for the opportunity to work in partnership with parents in this vital ministry,” he added.