MANSFIELD – St. Peter’s Parish and School announced Sunday the hiring of Laurie McKeon as the institution’s first Head of School. McKeon will work alongside Father John Miller, the new pastor for St. Peter’s Parish.
In a press release issued by St. Peter's, it stated that both leaders are committed to the school’s mission of graduating students who achieve academic excellence, practice Christian spirituality, and are prepared to be of service to the world.
McKeon previously served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at St. Joseph Catholic Academy, a spiritually, academically, and financially thriving school she helped form in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She will begin her tenure at St. Peter’s in August. McKeon holds an MA in Nonprofit Administration from the Mendoza Graduate Business School at Notre Dame, a Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, and a BA of Arts from Notre Dame University.
Father Gregory Hite, pastor and local superintendent of St. Peter’s Parish and School, retired from his decade of leadership by offering the position to McKeon after a five-month search conducted by St. Peter’s newly-formed school governing board.
“McKeon’s commitment to and experience with Catholic education as both an administrator and a consultant, her background in non-profit administration and as an attorney, and her continuing connection to the local community made her an excellent candidate for the position," said board president, Dr. Cassandra Parente. "Her clear vision for fostering St. Peter’s mission and growth will have an enduring impact.”
McKeon’s local ties to St. Peter’s Parish and School began over twenty years ago when her family joined the parish, and her children attended St. Peter’s School from 1993-2003.
During her time in Mansfield, McKeon served as Board Chairperson for Richland County Children’s Services, helping to found and grow the Richland County Children’s Services Auxiliary in 1996. Today, the organization continues to provide services such as the Christmas Project, the New Store, and the Backpack Project to support Richland County youth.
She also served as a Richland County Foundation board member from 1999-2002.
“I’m delighted and humbled to be named the new Head of School for St. Peter’s in Mansfield,” McKeon said. “To serve the school, parish, and community that was so instrumental in forming my own family is more than serendipity or a happy coincidence.
"I truly believe that God puts us where we are meant to be, to do His will, live our purpose, and work for the greater good.”
McKeon will join St. Peter’s new pastor Father John Miller in shepherding in a new era of leadership at the 175-year-old parish and school. According to McKeon, the school’s leadership will be based on transformative collaboration.
“I will do my very best to honor this opportunity, working closely with Fr. Miller, school leadership, and the entire school community to ensure that every St. Peter’s student becomes his or her very best self, academically, spiritually, socially and morally," McKeon said. "As a part of St. Peter’s past, with first-hand knowledge of St. Peter’s strong legacy, I look forward to being a part of St. Peter’s bright and vibrant future.”
The Head of School position was created as part of the St. Peter’s Strategic Plan, which also included forming a Governing Board to support and oversee the school’s administration. This plan also focuses on building long-term financial stability for the school, improving academic opportunities, and focusing on traditional Catholic/Christian values.
St. Peter’s Parish and School invites the community to meet our new pastor and Head of School at AugustFest, a 21+ evening of live music, games of chance, food, and adult beverages at Spartan Fields on Saturday, August 7, from 4-9 p.m. Presale tickets are $10 and are available at mansfieldstpeters.org/august.
St. Peter’s School was founded in 1868 as a ministry of St. Peter’s Parish. The Catholic school provides educational opportunities for students from Montessori Pre-K through high school. It currently serves approximately 300 students from multiple faith and socioeconomic backgrounds.