Cohort graduates and staff: 1st row: Claudette Banciella, Annunciation Catholic Academy; Brooke Cimmino, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School; Shannon Lestage, St. Thomas Catholic School: Beth Miller, Bishop Moore Catholic; Monica Matthews, St. Paul Catholic School; Milagros Montalvo, Good Shepherd Catholic School; Stephanie Ellerbe, St. Joseph Catholic School, Winter Haven; Marilyn Ahearn, Good Shepherd Catholic School.

Cohort graduates and staff: 1st row: Claudette Banciella, Annunciation Catholic Academy; Brooke Cimmino, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School; Shannon Lestage, St. Thomas Catholic School: Beth Miller, Bishop Moore Catholic; Monica Matthews, St. Paul Catholic School; Milagros Montalvo, Good Shepherd Catholic School; Stephanie Ellerbe, St. Joseph Catholic School, Winter Haven; Marilyn Ahearn, Good Shepherd Catholic School.

ORLANDO  |  Twenty-one of the Diocese of Orlando’s top Catholic educators recently completed the St. Leo University/Diocese of Orlando Educational Leadership Cohort, a two-year, dual-opportunity educational program designed to assure successful leadership succession within the diocese’s Catholic school system. They gathered Dec. 10, 2020, at San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park for Mass celebrated by Bishop John Noonan, and a luncheon awards presentation with Henry Fortier, superintendent of Catholic Schools. 

Through the generosity of Bishop Noonan, the cohort included tuition support for those pursuing their master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Leo. Additionally, the Office of Catholic Schools designed a program, led by Jacquelyn Flanigan, associate superintendent, and Jayme Hartmann, principal of St. James Cathedral School, that covered the theories and practices applied specifically to Catholic schools within the diocese.  

“This cohort came together as a group of educators to learn to be future school administrators in our diocese,” Flanigan said. “They far exceeded that expectation. They emerged as a collective group of true future leaders.”