By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published August 22, 2014
SMYRNA—Connie Urbanski, Ed.D., is a new assistant superintendent in the Office of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, joining Diane Starkovich, Ph.D., superintendent of schools, and Rebecca Hammel, assistant superintendent.
She came on board this summer, bringing years of service in Catholic schools in North Carolina and Louisiana. Her duties will center upon directing the district-wide accreditation process, according to the superintendent of schools.
In the spring of 2013, the Archdiocese of Atlanta received district-wide accreditation for archdiocesan schools after an external review by AdvancED. Part of the accreditation process is engaging in continuous improvement at both the school and archdiocesan level.
Urbanski will also assist with advising principals, monitoring and assisting schools with catechetical training of teachers, and developing a pool of qualified teachers and staff members for schools. Additional duties will include managing the consortium for E-rate participation. E-rate is a nationwide program for schools to receive discounts on advanced telecommunications services.
“Connie has worked in both Catholic elementary and high schools, so her depth of experience brings additional and expanded levels of support for our administrators and teachers,” said Starkovich.
Urbanski earned a bachelor’s degree from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a master of science in English education from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a master of school administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in educational supervision and policy from North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
In an email interview, she answered some questions about her background and experiences.
Q. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family.
A. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where I attended Catholic grade school, high school, and college. I have one brother, who is a professor of sociology in Maryland. My husband and I have three children, one son and two daughters. The youngest, our daughter Brenna, is newly enrolled in Blessed Trinity High School as a senior. We are currently living in Roswell.
Q. How did you choose a career in education?
A. I chose teaching as a career reluctantly. My family was made up of many teachers and all of my teachers in grade and high school “expected” me to become a teacher. Naturally, this made me want to become anything else. However, once I got to graduate school I was surrounded by teachers who were excited by what they were doing. At that point I began to rethink my rebellion and, finally, accepted my fate and became a teacher.
Q. Where was your first teaching post and what lessons did you learn there?
A. I began my teaching career at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Newark, New Jersey. This school had a largely Latino population, most of whose parents were unable to speak English. At this school I learned that there are many ways to communicate when you have a common goal.
Q. How did your transition from teaching to administration come about? What was your previous position before coming to Atlanta?
A. Later in my career I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Here I worked in the Diocese of Raleigh at Cardinal Gibbons High School as a teacher and, later, as dean of students. I then became principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, an elementary school in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. After a number of years as principal, I accepted a position as assistant superintendent for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This was the position I held immediately before coming to Atlanta.