St. Joseph, Missouri – The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership announces that Ann Lachowitzer will be its first president beginning July 1, 2021. Lachowitzer has 25 years of experience in education including more than 10 years in Catholic school leadership, most recently as principal of Bishop LeBlond High School in St. Joseph.
“As a connector and visionary leader, I’m excited about the opportunity to lead the important work of the St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership, including guiding our schools in carrying out the Partnership’s mission of preparing our scholars to be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ,” said Lachowitzer.
The St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership exists to facilitate collaboration among the area’s four Catholic schools and ensure a common experience for all students. The group announced the development of its board of directors in December 2020, with one of its first tasks being the hiring of a full-time president.
Todd Meierhoffer, Partnership Board Chair, said, "We are excited to have Ann as the President of our organization. She meets all the criteria our board was looking for. She has a strong love of our Catholic faith with a passion and commitment to academic excellence. She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to our organization, with a business-minded approach to managing our schools. The fact that she has become well established in the St. Joseph Catholic community with her role at Bishop LeBlond, allowing her to make an immediate impact as President, was a plus.”
Lachowitzer has held several leadership roles at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph including as Early Childhood Director at St. Therese Early Education Center, Elementary School Principal at Borromeo Academy in addition to her current position as Principal at Bishop LeBlond High School. She has led initiatives to increase enrollment and reinvigorate school identity.
“It is encouraging to see continued progress toward the vision of the St. Joseph Catholic Schools Partnership. I am confident that Ms. Lachowitzer is the right leader for the important work ahead. She brings experience, leadership and a deep commitment to see Catholic education thrive in the St. Joseph community to this new and important position,” said Bishop James V. Johnston, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Lachowitzer is considered a transformational leader focused on creating change in people and culture that leads to innovation and growth. She is a dedicated professional experienced in organization and analysis to evaluate school effectiveness, marketing, development, and rebranding.
Future plans for the Partnership include continued fundraising, performing a comprehensive facilities assessment, and measuring the four schools’ long-term viability.
“Ann is a strong leader with a proven track record in several of our diocesan Catholic schools,” said Dan Peters, superintendent of diocesan schools. “She is absolutely the right person at the right time to bring the St. Joseph Catholic Schools together to form a brighter future.”
Lachowitzer will step down as principal of Bishop LeBlond High School at the end of June. While she will no longer be in charge of daily operations, she will still be a part of the LeBlond community. She plans to keep an office at LeBlond and work closely with the new principal when he/she is hired. There is not an announcement to make regarding Ann’s replacement at this time.
Learn more, and stay up to date on progress, at stjosephcatholicschools.com or St. Joseph Catholic Schools on Facebook.
About St. Joseph Catholic Schools
The mission of St. Joseph Catholic Schools is to build and foster a thriving, collaborative & sustainable K-12 Catholic School System in St Joseph, Missouri that educates the whole person through unique attention to academic and spiritual formation, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph Catholic Schools teach the lessons its students will need as they strive to share with the world their gifts and talents, so that in all things God may be glorified. The Vitality in Catholic Education plan emphasizes the development of the whole student in Catholic teachings and values and seeks to stabilize, and eventually increase, enrollment to reach more students across the St. Joseph area. stjosephcatholicschools.com
About the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was established in 1956 when the Dioceses of Kansas City (founded in 1880) and St. Joseph (founded in 1868) were combined. Led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., the Diocese is home to nearly 124,000 Catholics in 87 parishes and 10 missions across 27 counties in northern and western Missouri. Under the guidance of Bishop Johnston, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues its mission to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live and serve in charity in northern and western Missouri. kcsjcatholic.org