Published October 6, 2005
Judith Mucheck has resigned as the superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, effective Nov. 23.
In a letter sent Sept. 21 to all pastors and principals of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory indicated that he is currently conducting a national search for a new superintendent and if necessary will appoint an interim superintendent.
He said, “We will be looking for a proven leader in Catholic schools with a Ph.D. in education/educational administration, who will help us in developing the Catholic identity of our schools, strategic planning, marketing, development and building relationships between clergy and the schools.” A search committee, consisting of priests, principals (of both archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools), teachers and parents, will be used to facilitate the process.
In June, an independent firm conducted an assessment of the archdiocese’s educational efforts by interviewing about 200 people from various communities in the archdiocese in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the Catholic schools to the newly appointed archbishop. The report from the assessment included a number of recommendations, including some particularly pertinent to the search for the new superintendent.
In his letter to pastors and principals, the archbishop indicated that he intends to develop and promulgate a clear vision for the Catholic schools in the archdiocese and for the Office of Catholic Schools, including a mission statement for that office. An archdiocesan school board will be established. Other plans include model school bylaws and guidelines that will be tailored for the different type of schools and boards in the archdiocese. The archdiocese will explore the institution of a leadership development program for Catholic schoolteachers considering a position in school administration. And based on the recommendations from the assessment, Archbishop Gregory will focus on a careful review of the principal search process, giving special attention to defining the roles of the pastors, chaplains, superintendent, search committee, professional facilitators and others.
Mucheck was appointed as assistant superintendent of schools in July 1999, and was then promoted to the superintendent of schools in June 2000, during which time period two archdiocesan high schools and three elementary schools were opened.
“I have decided to resign my position of superintendent of schools in order to concentrate my efforts on completing the final phase of my doctoral degree. It has been a pleasure to serve the school communities in the archdiocese,” said Mucheck.
During her tenure, she worked to improve the documentation and organization of the 15 archdiocesan elementary schools and three high schools in the archdiocese. Her accomplishments include overseeing the writing of curriculum documents that provide a standard outline and guidelines for classes for grades kindergarten through eighth grade in all subject areas including art, music and physical education. Groups of 40-50 elementary teachers formed writing teams. Prior to 1999 there were no documents for these grades. Additionally, she oversaw the creation of curriculum documents for the high schools, which had not been updated since 1975; all high school subjects have documents, which are reviewed every five years.
A validation process for eighth-grade algebra is in place with clear articulation between the elementary and high schools.
In the area of safety, all schools have undergone safety audits conducted by Georgia Emergency Management, and a “lock-down” protocol to secure and limit access to buildings was developed in every school.
All schools now have online capability for submitting their professional development activities for professional learning unit credit through the Professional Standards Commission, and teachers can renew their teacher certificates online.
Under Mucheck’s leadership, there has been an emphasis on service and prayer experiences at all schools, and a retreat for principals was initiated.
In his letter announcing Mucheck’s resignation, Archbishop Gregory said, “All of us are grateful for her contributions to our Catholic school system and wish her well in future endeavors.”
He asked for them to keep in their prayers “all of us who are involved in this exciting new phase of the development of our archdiocesan Catholic schools, which are so important to the formation and development of our young people. May the Holy Spirit and his gifts of wisdom guide us in the selection of the next superintendent to lead our archdiocesan Catholic school system.”