Archdiocese honors school principals, commemorates retirees’ combined 129 years of service

Fr. Stephen Pullis, director of the Archdiocese of Detroit's Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools, talks with principals and pastors during the archdiocese's annual appreciation luncheon for new and retiring principals at The Hill restaurant in Grosse Pointe Farms. (Dan Meloy | Detroit Catholic) 

DETROIT — School principals and pastors across the Archdiocese of Detroit gathered May 16 for an annual luncheon to commemorate a job well done and to honor those who have faithfully served the mission of Catholic education.

The luncheon at The Hill restaurant in Grosse Pointe Farms allowed archdiocesan leaders to thank principals for their work as Catholic education in southeast Michigan undergoes a transformation as part of the archdiocese’s plan of “Unleashing Our Catholic Schools.”

“It’s nice on behalf of the Catholic Schools Counsel to be here and say, ‘Thank you,’” Kathleen McCann, executive director of the Archdiocese of Detroit's Catholic Schools Council, told the dozens of educators gathered. “We know what we do on the council is in support of what you are doing in your schools. We’re throwing a lot (of information) at you, and you are offering your feedback, to help implement the vision for our Catholic schools.

“We’re working closely with Unleash the Gospel and the missionary strategic plan (process) as we progress,” McCann continued, “and we know schools are an important part of these documents to ensure any Catholic child that wants a Catholic education can get one.”  

Kevin Kijewski, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Fr. Stephen Pullis, director of the Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools, presented principals Karina Lepkowski of Most Holy Trinity in Detroit and Kate Szuba of Our Lady of Victory in Northville with certificates and gifts to commemorate their first year as principals.

Kijewski also recognized principals Carl B. Wagner of Holy Cross School in Marine City (52 years in education, six-and-a-half in the archdiocese), Mary Beth Kiley of Holy Redeemer School in Detroit (41 years in education, 39 in the archdiocese), and Sharon Szuba of St. Fabian School in Farmington Hills (36 years in education, all in the archdiocese), who are retiring this year.

“Thanks to all who work to unleash the Gospel, both pastors and principals of our Catholic schools,” Kijewski said. “This is a partnership between our pastors and principals, working to make sure that our Catholic schools are not only surviving, but thriving. Thanks to these partnerships, this event is a special time for recognizing our first-years principals and the longer years of service for our retiring principals.”