Updated 05/11/2012 06:41 PM
Albany Diocese appoints new schools superintendent
Students attending one of the Albany Diocese's 23 catholic schools next fall will find a new face in the Superintendent's office. Our Beth Croughan has more.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It's been a real gift sharing this time. But I'm delighted to pass on the torch to Mr. Pizzingrillo," said Sister Jane Herb, the current superintendent for the Catholic Schools of the Albany Diocese.
After 15 years as serving as superintendent, Sister Herb is leaving this summer. She'll soon serve as the President of a Michigan-based congregation.
Friday, she met with the man who will take her place here.
"One of the areas that we really need to do is to build up and to strengthen the partnerships that we have. With business communities, with the college communities, certainly strengthening relationships with our parishes. And that's one thing that I, I would hope, you know needs to take root a little bit more," she suggested.
Sister Herb said seeds have been planted through the Covenant to Educate, an initiative launched last year to transition away from trends. Enrollment at catholic schools across the country she said has declined over the years forcing the closure of 19 schools locally.
New superintendent Michael Pizzingrillo says he'll compare closures with what's open and use that to continue to push forward.
"Often times we take apart what didn't work right and really intervene. Why not look at the successes and say 'what's really happening that is keeping some of our larger schools large, look at that and let's replicate that in other parts of the diocese," said Pizzingrillo.
Thirty-eight-year-old Pizzingrillo said academics and faith formation will be the focus as he works to sustain the foundation of catholic education, a foundation he hopes to help grow in the future.
"We have to make sure that the product that we're providing is top notch, preparing our students for the 21st century with the skills their going to need to succeed in society. And also to make sure that we get that word out, that we can market those schools and you have to sustain that product that we're doing so well and get the word out there," he said.
Pizzingrillo is currently the deputy schools superintendent for the Brooklyn Diocese. He begins July 1st.