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Five new school leaders in Denver Catholic Schools this fall

Excitement is building as our 35 Denver Catholic Schools begin to open for the new school year. Five of our schools will welcome new leaders this year, even though four of them are already familiar to their school communities.

Please join us in welcoming these wonderful new leaders, each with a zeal and passion for Catholic education. We are blessed to have them in these leadership roles!

Mr. Joe Barrett, Principal – Good Shepherd

Joe Barrett is certainly known to the Good Shepherd community. Even after a nationwide search for someone to replace former principal Mark Strawbridge, the man chosen to lead the school was already there within the school’s walls. Joe Barrett has been teaching at Good Shepherd for the past 15 years. He started as a 5th grade teacher and stayed in that role for four years before starting work as the math support specialist, working with small groups of kids in the younger grades who needed a little boost in their foundational math skills. He also earned his high school math certification in 2013 and began teaching high school level math courses to 7th and 8th grade students. “Working daily with students in grades 1st through 8th grade at many different levels of understanding has formed me as a teacher and new principal, opening my eyes to the diverse needs of students and families across the school,” says Barrett.

Barrett has a BA Elementary/Middle School Education + Psychology [double major] from Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Barrett says he is excited to serve the Good Shepherd students and families as principal. “My prayer for the past year has centered around being open to the ways God is calling me to love and serve. Good Shepherd has an amazing staff of experienced and passionate educators as well as an active and supportive parent community. My goal for the school year is to strengthen the partnership between parents and teachers toward the common goal of forming our children. I love this school and pray that we continue to follow the perfect example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd in all we do this year.”

Donna Bornhoft, Principal – Saint Joseph, Ft. Collins

Donna Bornhoft was recently named the new principal of Saint Joseph Catholic School in Ft. Collins. Saint Joseph is not new, though, to Donna. “I started my career at Saint Joseph Catholic School where I taught 2nd grade for 9 years. I left to stay home with my youngest. Once he was ready for kindergarten, my love for Catholic education brought me back. My three children attended St. Mary Catholic School in Greeley and I was blessed to be hired to teach 2nd grade once again. I did this for 11 years before being promoted to principal. I was the principal at St. Mary for 7 years. After a brief break from education, I am now returning to where my career started.”

Donna has a BA in elementary education from UNC, and a MA in educational leadership from Regis University.

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“I feel so blessed to be called back to Saint Joseph Catholic School,” says Donna. “I truly felt the Holy Spirit calling me back to Catholic education and back to a leadership position. The teachers and staff at Saint Joseph are very committed to their ministry and I am looking forward to working with them to build disciples of Christ that leave our school with a love for the Lord, a love for their faith and a desire to minister to others.”

Mrs. Kendra Douglass, Principal – St. Thomas More

Kendra Douglass began her teaching career as a 4th grade teacher at St. Pius X, spending three years there. She then moved to Blessed Sacrament as a third-grade teacher, where she taught for six years before deciding to take some time away to raise her boys. “When my oldest son entered kindergarten, I decided to go back to teaching and got a job teaching 4th grade at Our Lady of Loreto,” says Douglass. “After three years there, I got the assistant principal job at St. Thomas More.”

When principal Gretchen de Wolfe had to step away mid-year last year, Douglass was asked to step in to lead the school. Now, after an extensive search, Kendra Douglass has officially been named principal of STM!

Douglass has her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Louis University and her master’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Regis University.

“Catholic education is my passion, something I feel very blessed to be a part of. I am excited to start this next chapter as we work to form disciples of Christ, ready to stand firm in faith, with an outstanding academic education.”

Dr. Darin Lovelace, Principal – Assumption

One of the newest faces in the archdiocese Catholic schools is Darin R. Lovelace, Ed.D., new principal at Assumption Catholic School in Welby. He has a B.S. in applied math, M.S. in applied statistics, M.Div., and Ed.D.

“I come to Assumption from Cristo Rey High School in Sacramento, where I taught math and served as math department chair for the past seven years,” says Dr. Lovelace. “Prior to that, I taught math in middle and high school in the state of Utah. I’ve also taught in community colleges in Utah and Iowa. Education is in my blood – my mother was an elementary school teacher for 30 years, and my grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Nebraska. My wife, who also has earned a master’s in divinity, and I have encouraged our children to embrace a passion for education.”

Lovelace says he is happy to be in Colorado, living close to family, and beginning the next part of his career here in the Archdiocese.

“Assumption School is a little gem in the diocesan crown of schools. I am thrilled to continue the legacy of over a hundred years in Welby, working alongside remarkable and skilled educators and staff, with a parish priest who brings a deep love for Jesus and His Church to the work of supporting the work of forming minds and hearts in the Catholic worldview. I particularly look forward to building upon the good work of my predecessor, Dana Ellis, and moving forward with strong commitments to literacy education and a rigorous curriculum aligned with the archdiocesan vision. I am committed to the mission of Catholic education and so excited to be working in this archdiocese.”

Mrs. Deanne Martinez, Principal – Our Lady of Loreto

Deanne Martinez is very familiar to both her school community of Our Lady of Loreto as well as several other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. When Our Lady of Loreto school opened ten years ago, she was thrilled by the opportunity to be a founding teacher and she has spent most of the past 10 years at Loreto teaching middle school science. Last year she was named assistant principal.

Martinez has her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Linfield College and earned her teaching license through the University of Northern Colorado post baccalaureate program. She started her journey by volunteering at the school her children attended, St. Mary’s – Littleton, then moved into working as a classroom aide, substitute teacher and in the school office. “Even though I enjoyed my work and being near my own children, I felt called to something more. I was always impressed by the faithfulness, dedication, and quality education I witnessed in the teachers my children had. Inspired by their example, I went to graduate school and earned my teaching certificate. I was blessed to be hired at St. James Catholic school where I taught fourth grade for four years.”

Now, as a new principal, Martinez is delighted to take on this new and challenging role at Our Lady of Loreto. “I am looking forward to partnering with our families to form faithful disciples through the wonder, excellence, and truth of our Catholic faith.”

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

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