On Friday, May 20, as described in the press release below, Fr. Bernie Scianna ’83, made a number of significant announcements and appointments regarding the future leadership team at St. Rita. These changes are effective July 1, 2016. These changes are the exciting culmination of two years of succession planning.
These changes strengthen our team as we strive to further enhance the all-around excellence in education, activities and spirituality that distinguishes St. Rita from other schools.
CHICAGO, May 20, 2016 - St. Rita of Cascia High School announced today the appointment of Fr. Paul W. Galetto, O.S.A., Ph.D., to the position of Head of School and CEO. The appointment is effective July 1, and is among four made by the Very Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D., Augustinian Prior Provincial and current chairman of the school's Board of Directors. Fr. Galetto will be responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the Catholic college-preparatory school for young men that is located on Chicago's southwest side.
"I am very much looking forward to being a partner with the administration and faculty of St. Rita High School," said Galetto. Prior to this appointment, Fr. Galetto served as the Assistant Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University and was previously the President of St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, NJ, for 14 years.
"My experience as President of an Augustinian all-boys college prep school, and my service working within the highest levels of administration at Villanova University as Assistant Dean, have given me a great source of knowledge and experience that I hope will enrich the community of St. Rita," he said. "My doctorate was in educational administration with a particular focus on ways to assist faculty in their mission as Catholic educators. Doing this will be a top priority for me. My years of teaching have taught me that I love working with students and their families; when they succeed, we all succeed. I can't wait to get started."
"We are excited to have Father Paul assume the leadership of St. Rita. He brings with him a wealth of experience, energy and passion for Catholic, Augustinian education. He joins a team of dedicated administrators, faculty, and staff who have done an excellent job advancing college and career opportunities for young men at St. Rita, while preserving the Augustinian philosophy and spirituality, said Fr. Scianna, who is a 1983 St. Rita alumnus.
Fr. Scianna said that he, the school president, and the Board of Directors have worked on a succession plan for two years with the goal of broadening the leadership team in the Augustinian tradition. Fr. Galetto assumes the leadership role from Ernie Mrozek, a 1971 St. Rita alumnus, who has served with distinction as President the last four years. He will now resume his former role as Chairman of the Board.
Fr. Scianna also announced the following additional appointments:
- Mike Zunica to President and Chief Advancement Officer, with specific responsibilities for Advancement, Admissions, and Athletics. He brings 20 years of experience to his expanded role at St. Rita.
- Fr. Richie Mercado, O.S.A., to Director of Augustinian Mission and Chaplain. He will be newly ordained as of June 10.
Fr. Scianna also noted that Principal Brendan Conroy, who has done an excellent job leading innovation and change at the school, will continue in that role.
These appointments build on numerous positive developments at St. Rita over the last several years. During that time, St. Rita has raised and invested nearly $5 million to further enhance the facilities on its 35-acre campus, with more improvements in the planning stages. Leadership has developed a comprehensive strategic plan that is guiding further improvements in all areas of the school. Academically, the school has expanded technology in the classrooms, initiated plans for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program and added college-credit courses. Most importantly, the academic strength of St. Rita is demonstrated by the fact that its students have continually increased the amount of college scholarships earned, with the last year's class of 181 graduates earning a record of more than $17.6 million in scholarships and this year's class trending to do even better.
"These exciting changes are an outstanding result of our succession planning efforts," said Mrozek. "Fr. Paul and Mike Zunica add great experience, energy, and vision to a very talented faculty and staff that is deeply committed to our student's success. The Board and I look forward to supporting the team as we strive to further enhance the all-around excellence in education and spirituality that has distinguished St. Rita High School for more than 100 years."
About St. Rita of Cascia High School
Founded in 1905, St. Rita of Cascia High School is a Catholic college preparatory school for young men, rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the tradition of St. Augustine, following the Augustinian philosophy of education. St. Rita aims to form each student as a whole person: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially, and to provide its young men with the necessary skills to succeed in college and in life, leading to life-long learning and personal awareness. Through the Augustinian core values of Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity), and Caritas (Love), St. Rita strives to develop a bond between the members of the entire family: Augustinians, faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.