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HomeLocalCatholic EducationDenver Catholic Schools welcome 10 new school leaders

Denver Catholic Schools welcome 10 new school leaders

The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start! Our 9,000 students, teachers and staff members are thrilled to be back and to have a more normal opening than we’ve had the past couple of years. 

A number of our schools have welcomed new leadership this year and we are pleased to introduce you to them. Some are familiar to our community and others are new to the area. Please keep them and all of our school leaders, teachers, staff and families in your prayers this year.

Sr. Marie Isaac, O.P., Principal – St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School   

Sister Marie Isaac, OP, has been a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tenn. since 2004. After her initial formation at the Motherhouse, she obtained her teaching certification through Aquinas College in Nashville and later her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. She taught for six years, mostly in fifth grade, in the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., and for the past eight years has served as principal in the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois.  This year, she begins a new adventure as the principal of St. Vincent de Paul School and is excited to help provide Catholic education for the families in Denver. 

Harold Siegel, Principal – Bishop Machebeuf High School 

Weeks before he graduated from the University of North Carolina, having fallen in love with the woman he would later marry, Mr. Harold Siegel sought a way to use his education in the liberal arts to serve the Church. He thus answered the call to teach at an elementary school in coastal Carolina. After a few years, he married and headed to graduate school, first at the Catholic University of America and then at the University of Notre Dame. During his studies, which focused on education and literary culture in the Classical and Medieval worlds, he became even more convinced of the critical value of a Catholic liberal education. Thirty years later, after years teaching at the college and secondary level, his love of learning and the desire to develop such a love in others continues in his role as the new Principal of Bishop Machebeuf. Two years ago, drawn to its curriculum and emphasis on forming disciples, he came to Machebeuf willing to serve the Lord at his school in whatever role he was assigned and dedicated himself to building a “Faculty of Friends.” Much discernment has led him to take on the new role with humility and trust in Jesus Christ. 

Fun fact:  Mr. Siegel and his family (wife and five children) have been spending part of his summer in Colorado since 2011. He loves hiking peaks and to alpine lakes. He has summited 23 different 14ers with 29 total ascents. He recently discovered the joy of 13ers and has also climbed Mt. Machebeuf three times. 

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Kili Hady, Principal – Christ the King Roman Catholic School 

Coming to Christ the King is a bit of a homecoming for Kili; 10 aunts and uncles attended school there in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Her dad was a graduate of the class of 1968 and her grandfather built the rectory.  Kili attended Masses at Christ the King with her family as a child, and is excessively proud to be continuing her family legacy as the leader of the school.    

Kili is a proud Colorado native who grew up in Bailey at Camp Santa Maria. On the weekends you can find her in the mountains or dreaming of being in the mountains. Kili attended Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, Kan., where she earned her bachelors in sociology and political science. A strong calling from God led her to get her Masters in Elementary Education and begin her true vocation as a teacher and then on to administration with a second Masters from Regis University. This is where you will find her today, happily ready to take the charge of principal at Christ the King.  

Eileen Michalczyk, Executive Director – Frassati Catholic Academy 

Eileen Michalczyk has just transitioned to the Executive Director position at Frassati Catholic Academy from her role as principal at St. Pius X Catholic School.  Eileen has been married to her husband Stephen for 28 years and they have four beautiful children. Eileen has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from DePaul University, a master’s degree in school administration from Regis University, and a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute.  She taught for eleven years in grades preschool – 12th grade, and has been in school administration for 10 years.  She is very excited to take on this newly formed role as the Executive Director at Frassati!  This new leadership model for Catholic schools will allow school administration to be shared so that everyone involved receives more support and all can truly have the best experience in our Catholic schools.  Eileen is looking forward to supporting Frassati Catholic Academy and its mission to follow in the footsteps of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and bring all students “To the heights!” 

In addition to Eileen’s new role, Frassati Catholic Academy also recently promoted longtime faculty members Lisa Lupica and Anthony Saulino to assistant principal roles to assist in leading the school.

Sebastian Calvino, Principal – Nativity: Faith & Reason  

Sebastian Calvino has served at Nativity: Faith and Reason for the last four years as the history teacher in the middle school. After graduating from Benedictine College with degrees in education and history and teaching for a year in Kansas, he moved to Colorado where he found a job at Nativity as a last resort. While he had planned on spending his career in public education, he was captivated by the vision of Catholic schools put forth by the Church and by his own experience teaching in one. This led him to complete both the Archdiocese of Denver’s Leadership Formation Program as well as a Master in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Sebastian feels blessed to move into leadership at Nativity and is excited about helping Nativity pursue the vision of Catholic education that forms the full human person.   

Kate Hatch, Principal – Our Lady of Loreto  

A product of Catholic Schools (she graduated from St. Mary School in Littleton),Kate has an authentic passion for Catholic School education. Her 16-year educational career as a teacher and an administrator has solely been within the Catholic School system. Hatch graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry and in 2006 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education emphasizing grades 5-12 with accreditation in Science and Math. In 2014, she earned her Master of Science in Education, emphasizing differentiation, curriculum development, evaluation, and teacher coaching. She is currently working on an additional degree in Master of Education emphasizing leadership. Her credentials include: Assistant Principal/Teacher at Our Lady of Loreto, Middle School teacher at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Milwaukee, St. Stephen Catholic School in Glenwood Springs, and St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Denver.  

Mrs. Hatch says she is incredibly blessed to be serving at Our Lady of Loreto and is looking forward to helping form faithful disciples today to be strong leaders tomorrow. “I feel called to serve at Our Lady of Loreto Catholic School. I am excited to experience the Holy Spirit’s guidance and support as I lead OLOL in our ever-growing academic rigor within a Christ-centered approach and a lasting service to the community.”  A fun fact about Kate is that she was a collegiate D1 competitive cheerleader for The University of South Dakota: “Go Yotes”! 

Stacey Chavez, Principal – St. Mary-Greeley  

Originally from Louisiana, Stacey got her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, and worked briefly in the hospitality industry before being called to education. In 1997, she returned to school for her Alternative Certification in Elementary Education and began teaching in the public school system where she felt drawn to support her students and be their advocate. After moving to Colorado in 2012, she began her search to work in the Catholic school system where she could continue to be an advocate for students but to also evangelize to them and help them strengthen their relationship with Jesus and become more faithful Catholics. Stacey says she was blessed to spend eight years at St. John the Baptist in Longmont working as a Kindergarten teacher and then a fifth grade teacher. While at St. John’s, she attended Regis University to obtain her Master’s in Educational Leadership and graduated in May 2020. During the pursuit of her Masters, she also served on the school’s Leadership Team.  “I feel very fortunate to be called to continue my vocation as principal of St. Mary in Greeley where I hope to continue to help those around me grow closer to Christ.” 

Karen Shannahan, Principal – St. Pius X  

Karen comes to St. Pius X Catholic School as their new principal from a fifth grade classroom in Monument, Colo. In the last several years, Karen has been actively pursuing God’s call to lead a Catholic school. She began this journey as Advancement Director and a member of the leadership team at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Colorado Springs.  She has her M.Ed. in Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. Karen whole-heartedly believes a Catholic school achieves its goals of virtuous students and academic excellence through nurturing relationships with students, parents, and parishioners. She looks forward to working with Father Jorge and the talented faculty and staff at St. Pius X to educate saints. When asked to share a fun fact about herself, she couldn’t decide between sharing that she was lucky to have been a part of Pope St. John Paul II’s papal audience in Vatican City back in 1995 or that she was born on Christmas day.  She’ll let you decide which is more “fun”!   

Tricia Cárdenas, Principal – St. Rose of Lima  

Mrs. Cárdenas was raised in Mesa, Ariz. with three siblings and two wonderful, faithful parents. She graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and began teaching in the Diocese of Phoenix. She was a classroom teacher for thirteen years and has previously taught in grades 2, 4, 5, and 6. She and Raúl have three children: Gabriel age 24, Adele age 21, and Elias age 18. They have lived in Colorado for 15 years. She enjoys cooking, hiking, paddle boarding, golf, and fly fishing. She feels blessed to be joining the St. Rose of Lima family and looks forward to growing and celebrating future achievements together with her new school community. 

Avery Coats, Principal – Wellspring Academy at St. Bernadette 

Avery is greatly honored to be the new Principal and Head of School of Wellspring Catholic Academy of St. Bernadette.  She is a native west Texan from El Paso and moved to Colorado where she received her BA from CU Boulder.  She worked with adults with developmental disabilities for a time before gaining her MA in Special Education from CU Denver.  She writes, “I have been fortunate to gain a wide variety of experience in my short career teaching all ages, learning the intricacies of behavior analysis, and later moving towards school administration, the latter being in Pittsburgh, PA for a few years.  I am extremely excited and humbled by this opportunity and look forward to my own continued growth as I have much to learn.”  A little fun fact about Avery: she spent a summer living on a sheep farm in South Africa teaching Special Education at the regional farm school.   

Carol Nesbitt
Carol Nesbitt
Carol Nesbitt is the Director of Communications for the Office of Catholic Schools.
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