Head of School Announcement

March 3, 2022

Dear St. Catherine’s Montessori Community,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce we have voted unanimously to name Lina Delgado as our next Head of School, effective August 1, 2022. The decision concludes an extensive nationwide search led by The Education Group and the Search Committee comprised of Angie Gubitz (co-chair and current parent), Misty Matin (co-chair and current parent), Paul Beck, Eric Rodriguez, Sister Charles Anne Solomon O.P., Denise Stasio, and Sister Sharon Steglich O.P., and included intensive participation and engagement from the faculty, staff, student, and parent community.

Lina brings a wealth of experience from multiple independent schools across Florida and Texas, including most recently Veritas Christian Academy in Bellaire. Throughout her career, she has served as an Interim Head of School, Middle School Principal, Fine Arts Director, Spanish & Drama Teacher, Production Director and Curriculum Advisor. Her inclusive, collaborative approach to leadership has created school environments in which all voices are heard and appreciated. Lina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Education from Florida International University, a Master of Science in Education from Nova Southeastern University, and is pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is currently enrolled in and will have completed the AMI Montessori Administrators Certificate course before the end of the current school year.

Lina’s demonstrated leadership will enable her to support and develop the professional growth of the guides and staff, understand and appreciate the perspectives of our parents, and build and maintain relationships that will extend throughout and beyond the SCM community. As Interim Head of Veritas she achieved 100% teacher retention, increased enrollment and led fundraising efforts to an all-time high. Previous colleagues had many good things to share about Lina noting that, “She’s generous, kind, and soft-spoken yet strong. She cares deeply about people and has great instincts and very high integrity. Lina listens and has a gift for building consensus and bringing people together. She’s clear and transparent, decisive and forward-thinking. Lina is and will continue to be a great Head of School.”

On behalf of the Search Committee and Board of Directors, I want to express our profound excitement and optimism about the future of St. Catherine’s Montessori under the leadership of Lina Delgado. She is committed to protecting and carrying out the mission of the school and successfully leading St. Catherine’s into the future. While the school will be well served by the leadership of Susan Tracy for the remainder of the school year, the Board will look for opportunities to introduce Lina, her husband Andres, and daughter Sarah to the community over the coming months. I know you will join us in welcoming them.

Sincerely,

Ryan Patterson,
St. Catherine’s Montessori Board President

 

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Letter from Lina Delgado

Lina Delgado

Dear St. Catherine’s Montessori Community,

With boundless joy and the most incredible humility, I accept the appointment to serve as the next Head of School at St. Catherine’s Montessori. From the moment I read the school profile and candidate description through my campus visit, I felt an unshakeable excitement about the mission of St. Catherine’s and prayed I would join the community. I want to be a part of a school dedicated to educational experiences that awaken students’ awareness of their gifts and responsibilities as individuals in relationship with Jesus Christ and as stewards of the global community. These are the words of St. Catherine’s mission, but these words have been my aspiration for my entire career.

I was blessed with time to meander through the halls and courtyard during my campus visit. I witnessed an environment where students naturally develop their commitment to learning, thinking, questioning, curiosity, and making a substantive and positive impact on our diverse world. St. Catherine’s undoubtedly lives its motto, “Bringing Wisdom to Light.” Here, students are inventors of their theories, proud of their uniqueness, analyzers of evidence, and composers and creators of their contributions to the world. Yes, undeniably, I thought. I am home.

I am grateful to the Board of Directors for trusting me to lead and care for the St. Catherine’s community and their deep commitment to ensuring that St. Catherine’s remains true to its values, Dominican roots, AMI Montessori practices, and a community that places students at the center. We will continue to honor the past, look to the future, and live out the St. Catherine’s mission. Thank you to the Search Committee, whose professionalism and passion for St. Catherine’s mission and purpose were demonstrated throughout the process. And thank you to everyone who I met or who attended an in-person or Zoom forum. You asked probing, challenging questions that came from a deep love for Dominican charism, AMI experiences, and the future of St. Catherine’s Montessori. Know that I am committed to the students I met and the community of students I will serve. They were focused and reflective, yet unafraid to ask tough questions. The guides and staff are fiercely proud of St. Catherine’s and want a Head of School who will be a thought partner in elevating their Montessori practice. I am so energized, and I pledge to join with the St. Catherine’s community to strengthen our Dominican identity, engage and continue the excellent work of Dr. Maria Montessori, and forge a path forward for St. Catherine’s with you.

My husband, Andres, and I felt the warmth of your hospitality and the conviction of your purpose throughout our visit. The engagement we experienced with the school community was indicative of your love for and investment in the school. We both extend our deep appreciation to the Search Committee, the Board of Directors, and all the guides, staff, parents, and students who participated in our visit. We look forward to introducing our daughter, Sarah, to the St. Catherine’s community. In particular, please know I am deeply committed to continuing and building on the strong efforts the school has already made in diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Head of School, I will support courageous conversations and challenge guides, staff, students, and parents to provide a learning community for students where everyone feels respected and loved. Our world is in desperate need of students like those at St. Catherine’s, and we will continue to define how a Dominican life and Montessori practice transform the lives of young people and the fabric of our world.

I look forward to learning your stories, to listening and understanding your hopes and dreams for St. Catherine’s. I am so proud to be joining a community that gets so much right, and I will work tirelessly to advance it. As I write this letter, I hold those who preceded me in this role close to my mind and my heart: Sister Edna Ann Hebert and Sister Shirley Owens, our visionary founding Heads, previous heads of school, and Susan Tracy, who has led St. Catherine’s with excellence into the prestigious Catholic Montessori community it is today. I am also thinking about the guides and assistant guides, past and present, who have put Maria Montessori’s philosophy into practice and have made our school what it is ­­­­­­— some of whom are still here today. And of course, I am thinking of the students who have attended St. Catherine’s throughout our 56-year history and those who are here today. Moving forward, I am committed to working closely with Susan, the Dominican Sisters, the Leadership Team, the Board of Directors, the guides, staff, and the Transition Committee to ensure a smooth transfer of leadership. I know that together we can continue to ensure that St. Catherine’s sets, meets, and exceeds the high aspirations we hold for it. I know I have much to learn and work to do, but I pledge to work with the Board to weave everything I learn from you into a strong vision and direction for St. Catherine’s Montessori.

Peace be with you,

Lina Delgado,
Head of School Elect