16 May 2022
Feast of St. Brendan
Dear St. Brendan School families and St. Brendan parishioners,
Over the past year, the Office of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cleveland has been working through its “Keeping the Faith” strategic planning initiative to help ensure the long-term success of all Catholic schools. Although the final report has yet to be completed, a number of key points and recommendations on best practices have been shared with school leaders.
As you know, we are highly committed to providing the best educational experience for the students entrusted to our care. As we have engaged in the process, we have been blessed with the opportunity to explore other Catholic school models with the Diocese of Cleveland. A closer examination of the model in place at Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in Parma Heights led to a discussion to explore possible areas of collaboration.
As we met with IWA’s President Michael Wisnor, Principal Steffany Congelio, and Board Chair John Biernacki we came to realize the value of its organizational structure and design. At IWA the principal is able to focus on all of the operational issues of running a school while the president focuses on the advancement of the school, including admissions, fundraising, and strategic planning. The president and principal work in conjunction with the campus minister to focus on the spiritual formation of students, faculty and staff, and school families with excellent results.
At this time, we are excited to bring IWA president, Mike Wisnor, onto the staff of St. Brendan School. Mike will work with our administration, faculty, staff, students, families, parishioners, and benefactors as a consultant to strengthen our vision and goals in order to secure our future stability. As Mike continues his role at IWA, we look forward to sharing resources and learn more through the spiritual gift that the Sisters of the Incarnate Word embody. In working with the Diocesan initiative of Keeping the Faith, we hope to continue to further establish St. Brendan School as a leader and innovator in Catholic education.
Mike will be meeting with our faculty, staff, and students in the coming days and will be available to meet with parents at school at 8:15am on Tuesday, May 24 and at 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 25 (details to follow). This summer, we will be scheduling a number of listening sessions to include all of our stakeholders into this consultative process.
As a brief introduction, Mike served as Vice President of Marketing & Mission for Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union prior to joining IWA in 2019 and was responsible for overseeing marketing strategy, strategic planning, public relations, and faith development. He spent 13 years at Elyria Catholic High School in a variety of administrative and leadership positions, including Associate Principal. He has also served as an adjunct professor of marketing and management for Tiffin University for the past 25 years. Mike and his wife, Michelle, are members of St. Jude Parish, and he currently serves on the church’s Parish Pastoral Council. Mike and Michelle have three daughters, Breanna (30), Lauren (26), and Sydney (18) and two grandchildren.
Once again, we are extremely excited about our partnership with Mike Wisnor and Incarnate Word Academy, and we look forward to working closely with him along with our entire community to build upon the strong foundation that already exists at St. Brendan. As always, thank you for your support and prayers as we navigate into the future.
Anchored in Faith,
Miss Julie A. Onacila Rev. Thomas G. Woost