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The Center for Catholic School Excellence

The Center for Catholic School Excellence at Mount St. Mary’s University, founded in 2009, promotes reflection, strategic planning, and inquiry with parish and diocesan leaders.  We are a resource for professional development and provide consulting services for teachers and administrators in K-12 Catholic schools. The Center also enriches the undergraduate experience through seminars and speakers.

Interested in our consulting services? Contact Elizabeth C. Monahan, Director of the Center for Catholic School Excellence
301-447-3416

Fostering High Quality Catholic Education

It is fitting that America's second oldest Catholic university devote its resources to fostering Catholic education for future generations. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's first home in Emmitsburg was on our campus. From here, supported by our founder Fr. John DuBois, St. Elizabeth dedicated herself to the Catholic education of children. The Center for Catholic School Excellence is a living commitment to the Church's ministry of education in the Catholic community.

Professional Development and Consulting Services

The Center for Catholic School Excellence, housed within the Mount's nationally accredited Department of Education, provides a range of programs, courses and workshops designed to promote excellence in teaching and learning in Catholic schools.

Topics for Professional Development and Consulting Services include but are not limited to:

  • Catholic Identity

  • Marketing and Enrollment Management

  • School Governance

  • Finance

  • Curriculum & Instructional Strategies

  • Differentiated Instruction

  • Technology Facilitation

Preparing Future Catholic Educators

Each year Mount St. Mary's University awards teaching degrees to 50-60 highly qualified students well grounded in the Catholic liberal arts tradition. Our students go on to serve in classrooms throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region. In all its programs, Mount St. Mary's aims to graduate men and women who cultivate a mature spiritual life, who live by high intellectual and moral standards, who respect the dignity of other persons, who see and seek to resolve the problems facing humanity, and who commit themselves to live as responsible citizens. Individuals who engage with The Center for Catholic School Excellence enhance their spirituality as they work with others to raise the consciousness of a nation about the value of Catholic schools in our society.

Here are some advantages our students have:

  • Advanced teacher development programs in reading and technology

  • Teaching seminars for Catholic school educators

  • Alumni and career development panels

  • Annual professional development day for Catholic educators

  • One-on-one mentoring with faculty

  • Internships and access to Maryland schools, which are consistently ranked at the top in the nation

The Principals Leadership Institute for Advanced Study Certificate Program

PLIAS is a certificate program uniquely designed for Catholic school principals and assistant principals. It is an opportunity to deepen your commitment to the mission of Catholic education, enhance your spirituality, strengthen your management skills, and instill the spirit of leadership. 

Mount St. Mary’s University in collaboration with the Department of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and Loyola University of Maryland, developed the Principals’ Leadership Institute for Advanced Study (PLIAS) to foster collaboration and sharing among peers and to identify best practices that can be put into action immediately.

The School of Education and Human Services commits to aid the following objectives:

  • Provide continuing professional development for principals and assistant principals

  • Encourage and support experienced principals and assistant principals in the ever-changing educational environment

  • Assist new principals to learn various aspects of administrative and operational demands

  • Develop best practices and foster collaboration with other principals and assistant principals in the Archdiocese of Baltimore

  • Prepare for the certification requirements

Completion of the PLIAS certificate program does not replace basic credentials expected of Catholic school leaders.

Center for Catholic School Excellence Advisory Board

Promoting excellence begins with a strong team of leaders offering advise and expertise to our programming and function.

Meet our Advisory Board

  • Rev. Keith W. Boisvert
    Pastor, Saint Katharine Drexel Church, Frederick, Maryland
  • Michele Corr
    Executive Director, Friends of Catholic Education
  • Chris Cosentino
    President, St. Maria Goretti High School, Hagerstown, Maryland
  • Daniel F. Curtin, C’64
    Consultant at Catholic Diocese of Arlington
  • Dr. Louis P. De Angelo
    Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Wilmington
  • Rev. James Donohue
    Theology faculty, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson
    Chief Leadership and Program Officer, NCEA
  • Dr. Regina Haney
    Executive Director, National Association of Church Personnel Administrators
  • Dr. Mary Ellen Hrutka
    Associate Provost, Digital Learning & Faculty Engagement
    Maryland University of Integrative Health
  • Will Knotek
    Principal, St. John’s Catholic Prep, Frederick, Maryland
  • Richard LaRocca
    Principal, Delone Catholic High School, McSherrystown, Pennsylvania
  • Barbara Marinak, Ph.D.
    Dean, Division of Education, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Rev. Daniel Mindling
    Dean of Academics, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
  • Sr. Brenda Monahan
    Principal, Mother Seton Elementary School, Emmitsburg, Maryland
  • Elizabeth C. Monahan
    Director, Center for Catholic School Excellence, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Rev. Edward J. Quinlan, S’78
    Secretary for Education, Diocese of Harrisburg
  • Livia Riley
    Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Harrisburg
  • Carol Ripken
    Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Schools Office
  • Karen Smith
    Principal, St. John Regional School, Frederick, Maryland