Kennedy Catholic meets goals; school will be open next year

Feb. 1—HERMITAGE — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie has given Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools the green light to start registration and scheduling classes for both of its schools in 2023-24.

After the resignations of several officials from the school system in December, diocese officials gave the school system several goals to reach in order to keep its doors open.

The diocese set several expectations — including securing donors and raising remaining funds needed to meet an $800,000 goal — for the board to accomplish by Jan. 27.

"We are happy to report that each of the performance indicators in the first phase has been met or exceeded," Bishop Lawrence T. Persico, along with other top diocese officials, wrote in a letter to the KC community.

James Gallagher, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Erie Diocese, said the money raised by the community was for the school, not the diocese, and officials are still looking for ways to spend it strategically.

Goals met include obtaining full board participation in training sessions; instituting protocols and procedures for board meetings; establishing and appointing members to the executive, finance, mission enhancement, policy and planning, and advancement committees; and presenting a preliminary budget for the 2023-24 school year.

"We didn't have a fully staffed board. We needed more community involvement," Gallagher said. "There's a lot that has to happen between the administration, the board and the diocese supporting one another and making sure Catholic education has an opportunity to exist."

The diocese set new strategic performance indicators with an expected March 7 completion date.

"As long as they're operating in the black and operating fiscally responsibly, then they can continue to move forward," Gallagher said. "They really took a look at the budget and made some very strategic and important cuts."

The parochial school system offers preschool through 12th grade at St. John Paul II Elementary School and the Kennedy Catholic middle/high school, both in Hermitage.

The second set of indicators include plans to hire a new president, and to develop sustainable fundraising and enrollment plans, as well as a long-range strategic plan.

"We've had a number of presidents and interim presidents over the past couple years," Gallagher said. "We need to find the right individual who's going to stick around and help to rebuild."

Gallagher said that without the ongoing support of the community, Kennedy Catholic would never have met the goals.

"The administration and the board are to be commended," Gallagher said. "We have local support here. They did the work."

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at