Story added 02-15-08 at 3:00 p.m.
Chicago Heights , IL—(ENEWSPF)— Marian Catholic High School’s president since 1992, Sr. M. Paul McCaughey, O.P. will take on a new position as Superintendent of the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago beginning on July 1. McCaughey accepted the position at the urging of Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, and with the blessing of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield.
Although the 1967 graduate of Marian Catholic certainly has no intention of leaving the Marian "family," she certainly vacates the building having left several indelible marks under her leadership.
Through Partnership 2000 and The Courage to Lead capital campaigns, McCaughey has been a primary guiding force in the building a new fine arts wing, a primary competition gymnasium and newly built Leadership Center/Student Union. Tremendous progress has also been witnessed with additions of a new college room, greenhouse, Campus Ministry area, two science labs and the $1.9 million Dominican Way classroom addition. Under her leadership, Marian earned a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon in 1995-96 and Marian has twice been named to the Catholic High School Honor Roll (2004, 2006), which recognizes the Top 50 secondary schools in America.
"The whole thing began, quite truly, as a favor to a wonderful local pastor last November to go and talk to a search committee," said McCaughey, who has degrees from Quincy, St. Louis, Notre Dame and DePaul. "Talk I did, expressing my feelings about education in the Archdiocese, stressing that, while I was grateful for this opportunity to ‘speak my piece,’ I may not be the one they wanted for their job – and I already had a job I loved.
"It is critical that the Marian community knows that things are being put in place here so that we will not miss a beat in ‘teaching scholars with a soul.’ While this move still leaves me a bit in shock, I am humbled by it and aware of the challenges and the tremendous possibilities."
The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, who have sponsored Marian since it opened in 1958, have set a priority to seek a replacement among the Dominican Sisters.
"It is an honor for the whole congregation that Sister M. Paul’s gifts and organizational skills are being recognized by the Archdiocese of Chicago," Dominican Sisters of Springfield Prioress General Sister Rose Marie Riley, O.P. said. "Her vision and foresight will bring the educational community together for the good of the children and the church."
McCaughey, who tentatively plans to complete her duties at Marian on June 12, plans to leave Marian with the excellence she has been so instrumental in achieving.
"I am energized to really cap off The Courage to Lead campaign through the goodness of so many- and to complete as many of its priorities as possible with the help of the Advisory Board, TC2L Campaign Leadership, and the MCHS community, with the construction being led by Maintenance Supervisor Harvey Mazur," McCaughey explained.
"My love for this place, the constraints on my time, and the need to keep a focus on both roles does not allow for any long goodbyes, but I will be always just around the corner to join the Marian constituency for pieces of our 50th Anniversary Celebration next year."
Along with dozens of appointments to significant committees and associations, McCaughey’s path to the Archdiocese of Chicago follows a career of excellence in education since 1970. Serving as Marian’s principal for all but two years from 1992-2004, McCaughey also served as principal at Springfield Sacred Heart and Sacred Heart-Griffin from 1985-1991.
She taught at her alma mater in 1993-94 and held teaching/administrative roles as well at Rosary High School and Routt High School in Jacksonville, Ill.
Along with her successor, McCaughey will leave Marian in extremely able hands led by Principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait and Chief Financial Officer Bill Hogan. Meanwhile, Mary Moffatt, currently serving as a consultant, has accepted the role of Vice-President of Institutional Advancement. Sr. Kathleen Anne will serve as spokesperson for the school should there be an interim time prior to the appointment of a President.
"The position of principal truly ministers to the very heart of the school – to its students, its staff, its teachers, and its parents," McCaughey said. "The complex and awesome work of education that is only achieved in the classroom, activities, and guidance is the provenance of the principal. We are blessed to have someone with the competencies, confidence, and care who is willing to cement the ‘center’ of Marian Catholic High School. Without Sr. Kathleen’s effective leadership, any change could not even be contemplated.
"Bill’s accounts are handled with tremendous integrity. His eye on our financial health and honest cautions have helped us to more clearly define our priorities and reach our goals. Mary’s passion for the mission and loyalty to the Dominican Sisters is matched only by her gracious warmth and ability to marshal the resources needed with honesty and energy."
While McCaughey moves on near the completion of the Courage to Lead capital campaign, she looks forward to being a familiar face and contributor as Marian Catholic plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary in the 2008-09 school year.