In September, Dr. Kathleen Walsh, Ed.D. was selected as the new superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Walsh, who has served as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and elementary schools in the Diocese for the past two years, steps into the role following Sr. Joanne Callahan’s 23 years of service to the schools and students of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Sr. Joanne will continue to share her expertise in a new position as secretary of education within the newly-formed education corporation.
Walsh comes to the Diocese from an educational background rooted in the richness of Catholic education. She attended both Catholic elementary and high school and each degree pursued and achieved was done so in a Catholic institution of higher learning. Her background in education has spanned both the public and private sectors and she has been selfless in her desire to make a difference in the lives of the students, families and professionals she serves. During her years in the field of education she has acted as a catalyst for change, initiating programs and projects that reach out to many and address the needs and interests of all students. She recognizes and respects parents’ role as the first teachers of their children. Through working with others she has learned the value of collaboration and cooperation in order to accomplish the mission of the organization.
Walsh has a deep faith and puts that faith into action in serving and helping people experience the rewards of an education that is academically rigorous and spiritually grounded. Her own spiritual journey began at St. Michael Parish in East New York where Walsh grew up and worshiped with her family. The importance of faith, education, and family were some of her first lessons, both at home and in school.
Today, Walsh and her husband Dennis are parishioners of the Parish of Saint Raphael in East Meadow.
Walsh’s first job in education was as an elementary classroom teacher for the Diocese of Brooklyn, in a parish school where she spent eight years. After moving to the New York City public schools Walsh began to take on other roles in education.
“In the public schools I worked as a classroom teacher, I was a professional developer, a librarian, an assistant principal, and a principal. For me, it was very important to work each of those steps so that I would know what was expected. I would know how to guide people and how to give support to people who were doing these many varied jobs in education.”
Walsh is a highly experienced educator. She earned her doctorate in school administration and instructional leadership from Saint John’s University in 2001 and is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Fellowship. She also possesses a master’s degree in library science from Saint John’s and a master’s degree in curriculum and training from Fordham University. She earned her BA in child study and speech from Saint Joseph’s College, Brooklyn and earned additional credits in special education from Brooklyn College. In addition to serving as assistant superintendent for curriculum and assistant superintendent for elementary schools for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Walsh has extensive experience as teacher and administrator including recent service as assistant superintendent for K-12 curriculum and instruction for the Wappingers Central School District. Previously, she served as principal of the Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School.
“For me it was like coming home.” said Walsh. “I’m rooted in Catholic education, both as student and as teacher, and I look forward to leading this outstanding team and these beautiful schools into the future.”
For Walsh, the position with the Diocese of Rockville Centre and her return to Catholic education is the completion of a full circle.