New diocesan school board is off to a busy start


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Six months ago, the Diocese of Davenport created a new diocesan Board of Education to focus on the diocese’s Catholic schools. The creation of the new board on July 1 separated governance of the diocese’s Catholic schools and religious education programming.

Lee Morrison, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, serves as an advisor to the Board of Education. Rosina Hendrickson, Lifelong Faith and Lay Ministry Formation coordinator, serves as a consultant from the diocesan Office of Faith Formation. Bishop Thomas Zinkula has a say in the board’s direction.

The new Board of Education, which has filled eight of its nine-member spots, meets five times a year. Two of the meetings will be online. Policy setting is a significant part of the board’s responsibilities. Members have been reviewing, updating and rewriting various policies.


Beyond policies, Morrison said the group follows catechesis certification, Catholic identity in the schools, strategic planning in Scott County and in Iowa City, and the marketing of Catholic schools. The board will receive updates on what schools are doing to implement Vision 20/20 and will keep track of special needs and school finances. Other responsibilities include review of a parish/school board’s decision. Morrison said the board will not make decisions for local school boards but can endorse decisions.

The following individuals serve on the Diocesan Board of Education:

• Sharon Roling, president, principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt. She served on the former board.

• Brian Graham, vice president, parent of three students of Holy Trinity Catholic School in Lee County and a member of the Holy Trinity School Board. He works in human relations.

• Steve Hanson, secretary, of West Liberty, is a former superintendent of public schools there. He has grandchildren who attend St. Paul the Apostle Catholic and Assumption High Schools in Davenport.

• Father Jake Greiner, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport. He also served on the former board.

• Bill Lynch of Victor is a retired superintendent of schools in that area.

• Lorene Knobbe is a retired assistant principal of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Davenport.

• Doug McBride of Washington is a retired elementary school principal and spouse of Beth McBride who has retired as principal of St. James Catholic School in Washington. Doug also does substitute teaching.

• Jenny Preston of Bettendorf is employed at Deere & Company.

One board spot remains open, preferably for someone from the Iowa City area, Morrison said.

During the last meeting, in October, the board reviewed and updated many school policies. Bishop Zinkula signs off on all policies, Morrison noted. Board members also discussed enrollment and the Scott County and Iowa City strategic plans.

Board members now are working on a concussion policy and a test security policy, which includes participating in the statewide assessment of student progress. Their next meeting is tonight, Jan. 23.

“We are very excited and off and running,” Morrison said.

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