New Superintendent of Catholic Schools Named

June 28, 2010

Bert L’Homme, Ph.D. has been named Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington. He is an ordained Catholic deacon who has more than 30 years of education experience. L’Homme began his teaching career in Washington, DC before moving to North Carolina where he eventually became superintendent for the Franklin County Schools. He currently serves as interim chief operating officer and the director of education policy for the Children’s Defense Fund. He begins as superintendent on July 26.

As superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, Dr. L’Homme will have responsibility for the oversight of 64 archdiocesan pre-school, elementary and secondary schools and coordination with nearly three dozen independent Catholic schools in Washington, DC and suburban and southern Maryland. The nearly 100 total Catholic schools serve 29,000 students from diverse backgrounds.

His appointment by Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl follows an extensive national search that was launched in March 2010 after the announcement that Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, Ph.D. was stepping down to become executive director of the Center for Catholic Education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.

“I am pleased with the recommendation of the search committee and am delighted to appoint Deacon L’Homme as superintendent because of his extensive experience as a superintendent and his commitment to the Catholic Church,” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said.

“I’m delighted and honored that Archbishop Wuerl selected me as the new superintendent for Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Washington,” Dr. L’Homme noted, adding, “I will be joining a team of talented and dedicated teachers and administrators. It’s an exciting time to be superintendent where there is a critical need to successfully prepare our children for college and career. Catholic schools in the archdiocese have a rich history with a strong Catholic identity and rigorous academics; the challenge will be to keep Catholic education both affordable and accessible.”

At the Children Defense Fund, Dr. L’Homme also coordinates the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Crusade, working to prevent children from a life leading to incarceration. Prior to joining the CDF in July 2009, Dr. L’Homme served as superintendent for Franklin County Schools for 5-1/2 years. For the Durham Public Schools he was associate superintendent for instructional services and assistant superintendent for elementary curriculum and instruction. He was a principal in North Carolina and, between 1982 and 1994, served as principal and then executive director of City Lights School, which was located in northeast Washington, DC. He also spent four years as a master teacher with the Rose School, part of the DC Public Schools/Department of Human Services. He was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Raleigh in 2004.

Dr. L’Homme holds a doctorate in Special Education/School Administration and bachelor degrees in Secondary Education/Psychology and History/Secondary Education from the University of Maryland in College Park, as well as a masters of education in Special Education/Emotional Disturbance from American University in Washington, DC.

A resident of the District of Columbia, he serves as a permanent deacon at St. Francis de Sales parish in northeast Washington, DC, and is a volunteer Catholic chaplain at the DC Jail and a volunteer mentor with the Welcome Home faith-based reentry program for individuals leaving prison. He began his work with prison ministry while in North Carolina and also was active there with RCIA, the program that helps adults prepare to enter the Catholic Church. From 1984-1987 he served on the Archdiocese of Washington Advisory Board of Education and from 1991 to 1994 he was vice president of the Advisory Board of Education for St. Jerome School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

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