Sr. Bernadette McManigal to retire

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Sister Bernadette McManigal, B.V.M., diocesan superintendent of schools, has announced that she will retire June 30 after eight years of service to the diocese. A nationally recognized leader in Catholic education, Sister Bernadette was appointed interim superintendent of schools in September 2008. Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde made her appointment permanent seven months later.

"Sister Bernadette has served the Office of Catholic Schools with dedication, commitment and enthusiasm since her arrival. Her steadfast support of Catholic education as it is rendered tangible in each of our schools is truly outstanding, as is her firm commitment to upholding and strengthening the Catholic identity of our schools," Bishop Loverde said. "Our principals, teachers and staff have found in Sister Bernadette a source of support, advocacy and inspiration. We are all indebted to her for her presence and service to the teaching mission of this diocesan church."

Under Sister Bernadette's leadership, the diocese has experienced growth in student enrollment and national recognition for academic excellence. Since 2008, 18 diocesan schools have received the Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, Sister Bernadette has worked alongside teachers and administrators to expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and provide academic support for students with unique learning needs.

With the support of Bishop Loverde and in partnership with the Diocesan Office of Development, Sister Bernadette has expanded diocesan tuition assistance programs, particularly for students from low-income and immigrant families. The diocese was able to provide more than 1,500 students with financial assistance this school year.

"It has been and remains a privilege to serve as Superintendent of Catholic Schools here in Arlington. No one could work with a finer group of teachers or administrators, whose dedication and commitment to Catholic identity is unparalleled," said Sister Bernadette. "I am very grateful to Bishop Loverde for his steadfast support of Catholic education, and I look forward to working alongside the dedicated staff in the Office of Catholic Schools to ensure our students' academic success and spiritual growth through the current school year."

Bishop Loverde has named Daniel Curtin, educational consultant in the Catholic schools office, to chair a committee that will begin a national search for a new superintendent.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015