The New Year holiday will mark more than a change in the calendar year for the Leavenworth Regional Catholic Schools. It also will mark a change in leadership.
Barbara Fitzgerald is leaving her position as president of the local Catholic school system. She is taking a job as the director of development for the Command and General Staff College Foundation.
"It was a tough decision," she said.
Fitzgerald said she's dedicated to the Catholic schools and plans to continue to serve them as a volunteer. But she feels her new job will help her grow as a person.
"It was just time for me to move on," she said.
Fitzgerald's last official day with the Catholic schools will be Monday. She began working for the school system in 2007 as the development director. She took over as president at the beginning of 2009.
"I'm leaving on great terms," she said.
Fitzgerald said the raising of $1.6 million and consolidation of several Xavier School campuses into one building is probably the biggest achievement during her tenure.
But she also noted that when she came to the schools, enrollment was down and there was rumor that Immaculata High School would close. And her job was to get work to market the schools.
A letter from Fitzgerald announcing her departure is posted on the Leavenworth Regional Catholic Schools website, leavenworthcatholicschools.org.
A letter from Stephen Mulcahy, chairman of the schools' board of trustees, also appears on the website. In his letter, Mulcahy credits Fitzgerald with revitalizing the Catholic school's Hall of Fame, leading a transition into the current incorporated structure of the school system, spearheading the unification of kindergarten through eighth-grade classes into a single facility and for being the architect of an ongoing capital campaign to complete a new gym and community area for Xavier.
According to Mulcahy, Xavier Principal Karen Davis has agreed to serve as interim president of the schools until a selection process for a new president is completed.
Davis, Immaculata Principal Helen Schwinn and Associate Development Director Mike Connelly "will work together during the transition period to ensure ongoing and successful operation of the school system," according to Mulcahy.