Dolan, a career Catholic educator for more than a quarter century, had been principal of Hoboken Catholic Academy the past two years (see The Catholic Advocate, Aug. 23, 2006). Her mandate for that assignment was to unify the school community and enrich the curriculum.
With extensive experience in the classroom and principal's office, Dolan made the switch to be able to "focus on the academic aspect of Catholic schools." All of the dioceses of New Jersey work collaboratively towards establishing a uniform curriculum, she said.
Her commitment to Catholic education, the new assistant superintendent explains, is simple. "I am a product of Catholic education from grammar school through college," she said, pointing out that her mother also was a Catholic school educator. "My faith is an important part of who I am."
The value of a Catholic education, Dolan is convinced, results from its emphasis on the students' relationship with God and their development as people of faith. Combine that with a value-based education that teaches "a sense of respect" and a Catholic education lasts a lifetime, Dolan said.
Dolan stressed the "rigor" of a Catholic education. "It is the knowledge and skills students need to be successful throughout their lives," she said. "We challenge students to develop the talents and skills God has given them." Teachers in the archdiocese, who do "an outstanding job," are a big part of that effort. She cites too the role of discipline in Catholic schools in all its aspects, including the emphasis on appropriate behavior, and the development of a child's sense of responsibility.
Dolan holds a Master of Arts degree in administration and supervision from Saint Peter's College in Jersey City and a Master of Arts in counseling from New Jersey City University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and religious studies from Caldwell College and has earned credits in theology from Boston College. She is state certified in elementary education and student personnel services.
From 2002 until the end of the 2005-06 academic year, Dolan was principal of Visitation School, in Jersey City. Before that she was a member of the faculty at Our Lady of the Lake School in Verona from 1993 to 2002.
During the years 1983-1992 Dolan held a variety of archdiocesan assignments at Saint Aedan School, Jersey City we well as the Sacred Heart, and Saint Joseph School both in Hoboken. She was also a faculty member at Spring Lake's Saint Catherine School.
Dolan's professional affiliations include membership in the National Catholic Education Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.