Nine Catholic Schools in Archdiocese of Washington Have New Principals This Fall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the doors opened for the 2018-2019 school year, nine Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington are being led by new principals.


The new principals are:

Elias Blanco, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School (Takoma Park)

Loretta Favret, Little Flower School (Bethesda)

Elana Gilmore, Archbishop Carroll High School (Washington, D.C.)

LaSandra Hayes, St. Mary School (Landover Hills)

Darlene Kostelnik, Cardinal Hickey Academy (Owings)

Kevin McShane, Holy Trinity School (Washington, D.C)

Amy Moore, Our Lady of Lourdes School (Bethesda)

Stephen O’Shaughnessy, St. Philip the Apostle School (Camp Springs)

Gerald Smith, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy (Washington, D.C.)



 Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. – Elana Gilmore has accepted the interim principal position at Archbishop Carroll High School. Ms. Gilmore has served as Vice Principal of Student Affairs since 2013 and has been a member of the Carroll faculty since 2004, when she began her career as a science teacher. Ms. Gilmore has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s University.  “I know that as the instructional and spiritual leader of Archbishop Carroll High School, I will continue to answer the call to promote and develop an active community of faith that will give students the foundation they will need to go out into the world proudly to serve God and affect change,” she says.

Holy Trinity School, Washington, D.C. – Kevin McShane has accepted the principal position at Holy Trinity School. Mr. McShane has served the last 4 years as assistant principal at the school. Mr. McShane holds a graduate degree Independent School Leadership from University of Pennsylvania in Independent School Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard University. Mr. McShane says he hopes to give back in service what he has received from the Church and his faith. “The church, and the people that make up the church, have been a key part of my life,” he says. “[…] I have learned so much about who I am and who I want to be from the church that my hope is to help others learn some of those same lessons.”

St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C. – Gerald Smith is new principal of St. Thomas More Catholic Academy. Mr. Smith served as Educational Specialist and Science teacher at the school from 2011 to 2016, and was a biology teacher at Bishop McNamara High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Sciences form Drexel University.  “As a new Catholic, I have been on a journey to deeply understand what God has called me to do and through my serving of the church and this school;” he says. “I believe that I will continue to develop a sound relationship with Christ as I develop the academic and cultural success of the school.”



Cardinal Hickey Academy, Owings – Darlene Kostelnik has accepted the principal position at Cardinal Hickey Academy in Owings, Maryland. Ms. Kostelnik is a founder of Cardinal Hickey Academy and has served the school since its opening in 1997.  She has a Bachelor of Science Computer Science degree from Florida Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Technology Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Leadership in Teaching: Administration and Supervision College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore. “I understand the unique, spiritual and special education that a Catholic school offers,” she says. “This love and deep compassion for our school, students and community drives me to serve as principal.”



Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, Takoma Park – Elias Blanco has been appointed interim principal of Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. Mr. Blanco has completed a Certification in Administration and Supervision at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore and has a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from McDaniel College, Westminster, Maryland. He has served as Assistant Principal for Student Life since 2015, and has been a member of the Don Bosco community since 2006. “The infusion of practical teaching with the Gospel is transformative, and our children and youth are prepared for life but more importantly for a personal encounter with Jesus Christ,” he says. “I certainly want to be part of this mission!”

Little Flower School, Bethesda – Loretta Favret is the new principal at Little Flower School. She began her education career 32 years ago at Holy Redeemer School in College Park. Mrs. Favret earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration at Johns Hopkins and served for eleven years as principal of S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary in Rockville. Her own Catholic education and her upbringing formed her as a strong Catholic, and she looks forward to using her gifts and experience in education and administration to bring students and families to a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Church. “I believe that God has called me to serve His children through a career of teaching and leading,” she says.

Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bethesda – Amy Moore will serve as principal at Our Lady of Lourdes School, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1999. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Instructional Media. Ms. Moore has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade, and has been a sixth grade homeroom teacher. Since 2008, she has served as Our Lady of Lourdes’ library and computer teacher. “A child’s elementary education is such an important stage of development, educationally, spiritually, and emotionally,” she says. “Working in a Catholic school allows me to nurture, instruct, and guide students in their pursuits of academic excellence while embracing them with the love of God and the teachings of the church.”



St. Mary School, Landover Hills – LaSandra Hayes, will serve as interim principal at St. Mary School. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, North Carolina; and a Master’s of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Nyack College, Nyack, New York; and a Post-Master’s Certification in Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Maryland. Ms. Hayes previously served various positions, including School Administrator: Assistant Principal/Dean of Students, at Bishop McNamara High School.  “As principal, I will work passionately to guarantee all girls and boys receive a Catholic school education that is accessible and affordable, so our world will benefit from their God-given gifts and talents,” she says.

St. Philip the Apostle School, Camp Springs – Stephen O’Shaughnessy has accepted the position of principal at St. Philip the Apostle School. Mr. O’Shaughnessy has a Bachelor’s degree in Education History/Secondary Education Certificate and a Master’s degree in School Administration, Major: Educational Leadership and Supervision. He has been a teacher and an Assistant to Administration at San Miguel School DC since 2008. “As a Catholic school leader, I believe in being a servant leader,” Mr.  O’Shaughnessy says. “I wish to be the living definition of the Church’s gospel teachings,” he says. “I wish to bring all whom I am charged with into the faith community.”