The Office of Catholic School recently welcomed five new principals who bring a wealth of educational experience and are excited to lead their respective schools and foster the rich tradition of Catholic identity that has become commonplace in Denver’s Catholic schools.
Mrs. Brooke Urban, the new Principal at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, feels extremely blessed to transition into the role of Principal within a school that has been her second home for the past seven years. She came to Blessed Sacrament after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from Benedictine College. With great joy, she began teaching in the fifth grade and quickly fell in love with teaching, Catholic education, and the mission of the Archdiocese of Denver. Mrs. Urban later taught middle school religion and then eventually became the school’s Assistant Principal after earning her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Regis University. Now, as the school’s Principal, she is deeply grateful for the Lord’s guidance, the support of her husband, family, and school community, and the opportunity to live out her vocation to serve within Catholic schools.
Before starting her career in Catholic Education, Marie Dunn had plans to teach in public education for several years to come. “After a few years of teaching in public education, I felt the call to something more. I wanted to go back to Catholic education,” Dunn said. Leading up to this school year, Marie has taught in grades preschool through fifth grade, and served as an early childhood coordinator, admissions director, and assistant principal. She answered God’s call again in 2017 when she applied to the Remick Leadership Program. This past summer, Marie completed her graduate degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Notre Dame. Marie feels extremely blessed to be serving as principal at Assumption Catholic School. “I feel very much called to serve at Assumption Catholic School. I look forward to seeing how God will use me to help support this community continue to grow in faith and academics,” Dunn said.
Julie Rossi has worked in education for over 20 years. During that time, she served the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic schools for 14 years in various roles as a teacher, athletic director, and school administrator. Early on in her career, she taught middle school science and social studies at Saint Rose of Lima. She is thankful to continue her ministry in Catholic education as the principal of Saint John the Evangelist Catholic School, where she taught middle school and then fifth grade from 2001 – 2006. She then served the community of Saint John the Baptist as principal from 2006 – 2014. Mrs. Rossi is honored to partner with Father Steve Adams, the talented faculty and staff, and committed families of SJE to provide a Christ-centered environment that forms each child intellectually, morally, and socially. “I am grateful to work in cooperation with the SJE community to cultivate critical thinkers and active faith-filled Catholics as they gain the necessary skills for a meaningful life and experience God’s love,“ Mrs. Rossi stated.
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, Kili Gruber Hady has always loved nature and her relationship with God. After attending University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, Kili returned to Denver to pursue a career in sociology and political science. However, God had different plans, and Kili went back to school to become a teacher (which she should have done from the beginning!) and found her first teaching home at Saint Pius X in Aurora. She then moved to Shrine of Saint Anne as the assistant principal where she got a taste for administration and fell in love with the challenge. She starts her first year as the principal at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic STEM school with enthusiasm for the challenges yet to come and the knowledge that God will lead the way in these unprecedented times.
William Perales has worked in Catholic education for over 20 years at the elementary, high school, and college levels. Most recently, he was principal at a Catholic high school in Fort Worth, Texas and was a member of the diocesan Curriculum Committee. Perales is excited to be at Bishop Machebeuf and join in the Church’s call to form disciples. “We aim to assist the Archbishop in this call, and we hope to do so by being a place of encounter, where students and staff have opportunities to encounter Christ through faith experiences, challenging academics, and student activities that encourage students to discover and develop their gifts and talents.” Through this, Perales added, “Bishop Machebeuf will help form faith, virtue, and wisdom in students by nourishing them on the things that are True, Good, and Beautiful so that students are not only prepared for what comes next in their life but more importantly are prepared and disposed to respond to God’s call.”