Executive Director of Center City Consortium Steps Down

Oversaw revitalization of the District’s inner-city Catholic schools

June 06, 2006

After eight years as executive director of the Center City Consortium and 30 years in Catholic education, Mary Anne Stanton will step down this month. She will be succeeded at the Consortium, which includes 14 Catholic elementary schools in financially-challenged neighborhoods in Washington, DC, by two current principals. Mr. Christopher Kelly of Assumption in Southeast Washington will become assistant superintendent for the Center City Consortium and Ms. Juana Brown of Sacred Heart in Mt. Pleasant will become the executive director of academic programming.

“The Consortium has such a great team of principals, teachers and staff, and wonderful students. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the revitalization of the schools and the kids’ futures,” Stanton said. “I look forward to staying involved, however, as a member of the Board of Directors.”

The Consortium was founded in 1997 to revitalize the city’s Catholic elementary schools after then-Archbishop, Cardinal James A. Hickey rejected a proposal to shutter 12 of 16 struggling inner-city schools because he wanted to keep Catholic schools accessible to children in their own neighborhoods.

Under the direction of Ms. Stanton, shared administration, bill paying, tuition collection and facilities management, and expanded professional development and a new research- and standards-based curriculum were put in place. As a result of these initiatives, teacher turnover has dropped from 50 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2005. Standardized test scores have increased dramatically, including a 61 percent increase in Terra Nova reading scores, a 78 percent increase in math and a 34 percent increase in language. Students at Consortium schools are 81 percent proficient in reading and 78 percent proficient in math.

“Mary Anne is completely dedicated to the children. She has always put them first and always will. She also is a great leader who put together a team of professionals committed to changing the lives of children in our nation’s capital for the better,” said Dr. Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, superintendent of Catholic schools. “Together, they made the Consortium a national model of educational reform. I am grateful to Mary Anne, and to Chris Kelly and Juana Brown who have agreed to take on new responsibilities.”

Chris Kelly became the principal of Assumption in 1994 after seven years of teaching at St. Thomas More and Assumption Schools. He was principal of the year for the Archdiocese of Washington last year and has served as Archdiocesan coordinator for the DC Opportunity Scholarship program.

Juana Brown has headed Sacred Heart School since 1997 and was instrumental in developing the school’s successful dual-language program as well as a middle-school ESOL program. She received the Griffin Award for Leadership in 2001.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]