Still lighting the way

August 9, 2011

Important dates
Aug. 11: Opening School Year Mass for Catholic schools, Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 26: Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic benefiting Catholic education, faith formation and St. Mary Seminary at Kingwood Country Club.
Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2012: Catholic Schools Week 2012; Theme: Catholic Schools - Faith.
Feb. 16, 2012: Archdiocesan Spelling Bee
Feb. 18, 2012: Steps for Students, University of Houston

There are approximately 18,000 students at 59 schools, 50 elementary and middle schools and nine high schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. As superintendent of those schools, Sister Kevina Keating, along with her staff, lends support to principals and pastors and works to maintain high standards at all the schools. 

HOUSTON — As she gears up for another school year, Sister Kevina Keating, the Superintendent for Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, took time out to talk about new developments, events and happenings, as well as the challenges for schools across the Archdiocese.

TCH: What do you see as the major challenges facing schools?
SISTER KEATING: My main worry is hurricanes. With 27 schools affected, we took a long time to recover from Ike. The other thing is to help increase our tuition assistance to keep Catholic education affordable. It’s difficult with the economy right now and the middle class feeling squeezed.

TCH: What’s one of the main things you will be working on over the coming year? 
KEATING: We will continue to implement Lumen Pro Via (Light for the Way), launched in 2009. It’s a road map that sets a direction of where we want to go with Catholic schools, so that we’re all connected and are all on the same page.

TCH: What does it involve?
KEATING: It encompasses academic excellence, facilities, Catholic identity, finances, leadership, where to expand and where to consolidate. All the schools are working on a common goal, even though each school has a different way to reach it. 

TCH: The new model for Inner City schools is being introduced this year. How will that work?
KEATING: It’s our first Catholic School Cooperative, where five of our Inner City Schools (St. Pius V, St. Augustine, Resurrection, St. Peter the Apostle and St. Francis of Assisi) will work more closely together to enhance their effectiveness and maximize their resources. These schools are very successful, but there’s a huge financial challenge to keep the schools going. 
I think this new model will be a big, big help. 

TCH: What new facilities will be opening up?
KEATING: Several of our schools will have new additions — the Retreat and Leadership Center at Strake Jesuit, a new gym at Pope John XXIII, a new chapel at John Paul II. There’s also the new learning center at St. Pius X for its Learning for Success program, designed to meet the needs of high school students with different ways of learning. 

TCH: Are there any new developments in the technology area? 
KEATING: A number of our principals will be using the iPad 2 to access professional development modules from “Coaching for Achievement,” and to record and access data for decision-making related to student learning. 

TCH: What events do you have coming up?
KEATING: There’s a major seminar on curriculum and student learning with nationally renowned John Antonetti on Oct. 7. Since the new Roman Missal will be implemented in November, we have planned two sessions on Sept. 13 and Nov. 16 to renew our school leaders’ love and knowledge of the Liturgy. 
We’re also looking forward to seeing everyone at The Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic, to support Catholic education.

TCH: With so many schools to choose from, how do parents settle on a school? 
KEATING: It depends where they live and how far they want to travel. We have a school locator on the Web site ­— that’s a start. Then they should visit schools to find out what’s a good match for their child.

To find a school, visit †