Leadership team at St. Mary’s, from left, Jonathan D. Kramer, principal of Saint Mary’s High School; Grace M. Cavallo, president of The Schools of Saint Mary; Msgr. John J. McCann, pastor and Dr. Celeste M. Checchia, principal of Saint Mary’s Elementary School.

Msgr. John. J. McCann, pastor of the Church of Saint Mary, Manhasset, has announced that Grace M. Cavallohas accepted the appointment of president for Saint Mary’s Elementary School in addition to her role as president of Saint Mary’s High School, thus creating The Schools of Saint Mary.

“Three years ago, I approved a new leadership model for Saint Mary’s High School with the appointment of a president and principal at its helm. I have witnessed how this model addressed the ever-increasing complexity of administering to a quality Catholic school by sharing the responsibilities of leadership between two highly qualified administrative Catholic educators dedicated to the mission of Catholic education,” said Msgr. McCann.

This has been a strategy that has worked extremely well for St. Mary’s High School. The collaboration and team effort of President Grace Cavallo and Principal Jonathan D. Kramer has strengthened the school community and has provided joint leadership enabling the school to flourish on many levels.

According to Msgr. McCann, “Saint Mary’s Elementary School now embraces the President/Principal model with Dr. Celeste M. Checchia continuing to lead the Elementary School as principal and Cavallo extending her role as president of both schools. As evidenced by the success of the president/principal model in the high school, St. Mary’s Elementary School will also benefit from professional expertise focused on the strategic development and advancement of the school, in concert with academic leadership.”

The Schools of Saint Mary will be a continuum of education aimed at preparing students for success in elementary school, high school, college, and beyond. The schools will remain separate but many opportunities will emerge for cooperative learning experiences, student mentoring, faculty partnerships and professional development, technology and science integration, athletic and service programs, and other curricular and co-curricular experiences.

“I firmly believe in Catholic education and as with any worthwhile organization, strategic thinking becomes a critical component in advancement,” Cavallo said. “The President/Principal model has served Saint Mary’s High School extremely well since its implementation and has effectively positioned Saint Mary’s as a competitive, highly sought after Catholic secondary school. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Celeste Checchia as we embrace the President/Principal model for Saint Mary’s Elementary School.”

“The demands on a principal are numerous, ever growing and challenging,” Cavallo added. “To know that I can be instrumental in focusing on mission, long term planning, fiscal management, alumni affairs, board leadership, and development simultaneously while our principals use their time and expertise in responding to the critical day-to-day needs of the school is priceless.This affords Dr. Checchia and Mr. Kramer the opportunity to advance instructional programs and teacher supervision while building relationships with the students and parents. Thi snew model is essential and a gift to our entire school community.”

The Church of Saint Mary has been committed to Catholic education for over 80 years.

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