SAGINAW — Mary Ann Deschaine, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Saginaw, has been named a 2012-13 Van Lunen Fellow. She was selected among applicants applying from across the United States and Canada to participate in a yearlong educational program that helps Christian school leaders gain skills in executive management.
The Van Lunen Center is on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Its purpose is to strengthen Christian schools by educating leaders in management areas such as finance, human resources, communications, marketing, fundraising and governance.
“I am honored to have been selected as a Van Lunen Fellow,” Deschaine said. “I believe the opportunity to network, build relationships and learn from others who share a passion for world-class faith-based education will allow me to continue to cultivate, strengthen and develop our already successful Catholic schools.”
As a Van Lunen Fellow, Deschaine will participate in three residential sessions that will take her to Grand Rapids and Scottsdale, Ariz., for training. She will attend structured classes led by a team of faculty from the Van Lunen Fellows Program, as well as successful heads of Christian schools who are dedicated to strengthening the future of Christian education.
Between gatherings, her work will be supported by small groups, which are led by a team of faculty and successful heads of Christian schools from different networks. Each fellow chooses a substantial school-based management project to complete, ensuring the learning stays practical. Deschaine has chosen to work on the development and implementation of the Diocesan Board of Education, as the Bishop Joseph R. Cistone promulgated in his pastoral letter, “A Future Full of Hope.”
Deschaine was named superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese of Saginaw in May 2011. In that role she has worked to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of each Catholic school in the diocese, and is committed to the mission of Catholic education: “to immerse each student in a unique Christ-centered environment for the purpose of developing the whole person to live the Gospel.”
Deschaine earned an education specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2010, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in K-12 educational leadership from Michigan State University in 2004, a bachelor’s degree in foods and nutrition from Central Michigan University in 1985 and Montessori teacher certification from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute in 1999.
The Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Saginaw include 17 elementary/middle schools and three high schools that are attended by nearly 3,300 students. School leaders, teachers and staff are committed to excellence in faith formation, academics, athletics, the arts and community service.