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Published February 06, 2012, 02:09 PM

Dr. Michael P. Smith named Superintendent of Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools

Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, announced today the hiring of Dr. Michael P. Smith as Superintendent of the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools.

Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, announced today the hiring of Dr. Michael P. Smith as Superintendent of the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools.

Dr. Smith earned his doctorate in education from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis, where he also acquired his master’s degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Elementary Education at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. His doctoral dissertation addressed Differentiated Instruction and Teacher Flow.

In a letter to Blessed John Paul II Catholic School board members, Bishop Aquila wrote that he is confident Dr. Smith, “will continue the good work we have begun in the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools through our ongoing strategic planning process. He has experience teaching and serving as a principal both in the United States and abroad. He will begin his position as Superintendent this summer as we begin the 2012-2013 academic year.”

Deacon David Haney has served as interim superintendent since May 3, 2010. “After Dr. Smith joins us this summer,” Bishop Aquila noted in the letter, “Deacon David Haney will continue in the diocesan positions of Chairman of the Board for the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fargo.”

Other recent changes in the administration of JPII Catholic Schools include the naming of Lori Hager as Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions and the revision of Mary Beth Traynor’s position toward a greater focus on school accreditation. Her new title is Director of Accreditation and Student Services. She and Cindy Hutchins, principal of Nativity Elementary, Fargo, will serve as co-chairs of the accreditation steering committee.

Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools include Shanley High School, Sullivan Middle School, and Nativity and Holy Spirit elementary schools, all in Fargo. A future elementary school is planned for the new site of Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo. The new site of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in the Horace area will also allow for a future elementary school.

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