Consortium of Catholic Academies names new executive director

June 14, 2010

Veteran DC educator Marguerite Conley has been named the executive director of the Consortium of Catholic Academies, a group of four Catholic schools serving students from lower-income Washington, DC neighborhoods. Conley has nearly 20 years experience as a teacher and principal in District of Columbia Catholic schools and was honored in 2006 with a Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

She will focus on financial development, academic excellence, professional development and operational support for the schools, which serve nearly 900 students in Columbia Heights, Brookland and two southeast Washington neighborhoods. Half of the children in the Consortium schools are from single parent families, 66 percent are non-Catholic and 99 percent are minority. The schools are a part of the Archdiocese of Washington’s commitment to provide an affordable, Catholic education for families in Washington’s financially struggling communities.

“The appointment of Ms. Conley further strengthens our ability to create safe and academically strong learning environments for our city’s most vulnerable children,” noted Vincent C. Burke, III, chairman of the Consortium’s Board of Directors. “Her extensive background in Catholic education and her belief in the importance of parent participation in that education will greatly benefit Consortium faculty, staff and students.”

A native Washingtonian, Ms. Conley received undergraduate and masters degrees from The Catholic University of America. In 1991, she began her teaching career at St. Peter’s Interparish School on Capitol Hill. In 1993, she joined the faculty of Annunciation Catholic School in northwest Washington, which serves a very diverse student population, as a middle-school math teacher. She was named assistant principal the following year and principal in 1999. Among her many professional activities, she serves on the Board of Trustees of her high school alma mater, Georgetown Visitation, and as president of the Archdiocese of Washington Elementary School Principals Association. She is known for a collaborative leadership style, has built partnerships with universities to bring expertise and resources to staff development and has a deep understanding of the Catholic school mission, all of which will serve her well in her new role.

“I am excited for this opportunity to work collaboratively with four talented and dedicated principals to assist our children in reaching their full potential, spiritually and academically,” Ms. Conley said.

The Consortium of Catholic Academies includes four parish, Pre-K to grade 8 schools: Sacred Heart, 1625 Park Road, NW; St. Anthony, 12th and Lawrence Streets, NE; St. Francis Xavier, 2700 O Street, SE; and St. Thomas More, 4265 Fourth Street, SE.

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