The Diocese of Charleston is losing eight of its principals, some of whom have been in the leadership position for many years — a couple even spanning decades.
Sandra Leatherwood, director for Catholic education, said she knew several principals were talking about retirement, but she had hoped they’d spread it out over a couple of years so the diocese didn’t lose so many good leaders all at once.
Sister Catherine Noecker, Molly Halasz, Lisa Tanner and Roseann Tracy all announced their retirements recently. Between them, the principals tally 59 years of leadership experience, and that doesn’t count their time spent teaching.
Sister Catherine Noecker at St. Anthony of Padua in Greenville: The Franciscan sister has notched up 27 years as principal and is synonymous with the school. She celebrated her 25th anniversary as principal in 2013, along with the opening of a brand new school building.
Molly Halasz at St. Andrew in Myrtle Beach: Halasz took the reins in 1996 and has served as principal for 18 years.
Lisa Tanner at Summerville Catholic: Tanner has been a fixture at the school for 24 years, the last seven as principal.
Roseann Tracy at Blessed Sacrament in Charleston: Tracy has served as principal for seven years and was a teacher there for six years before that.
Other principals who are leaving include:
Sister Pamela Smith at St. John Paul II: Sister Pam, SSCM, had agreed to serve as interim principal of the new high school for two years in order to establish it on a sound footing. She is returning to her full-time position as diocesan secretary for education and faith formation.
Also leaving are: Michael Ryan at St. Anthony in Florence, who has served for two years, and Joe Benning at St. Peter in Beaufort and Stephen Hickey at Our Lady of Peace in North Augusta, both with three years as principal.
The schools are actively seeking qualified candidates. Contact the school’s parish church for application information.
CHECK OUT THE NEXT EDITION OF THE MISCELLANY for tributes to our longest-serving principals.