Effective July 1, 2016, Immaculate Heart Academy will be instituting the President/Principal model of governance in order to reflect the changing and more complex educational and fiscal needs of Catholic secondary education in the 21st century.
Patricia Molloy, current principal of the school, will assume the role of President, and current Vice Principal Jason Schlereth will assume the role of Principal.
The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, approved both the recommendation of the school’s Consultative Board to adopt this new governance model and the selection of Molloy and Schlereth for the newly created positions.
Under the President/Principal model of governance the President of a school serves in a role similar to that of the chief executive officer of a corporation, responsible for areas such as strategic planning, financial and facilities management, alumni development, admissions, and public relations. The Principal, serving in the role similar to that of a chief operating officer, is responsible for academic affairs and day-to-day-operational management of Immaculate Heart Academy.
Ms. Molloy, a former 50+-year resident of Ridgewood, has been a member of the Immaculate Heart Academy faculty for 43 years. She served on the administrative team for 35 of those years, 10 of them as principal. Ms. Molloy received a B.A. degree in English from Caldwell University, a M.A. degree in education from Seton Hall University, and completed administrative certification courses at St. Peter’s University. She said she feels confident she will bring to the role of president not only her love of IHA, but also her immeasurable experience.
“Having dedicated my career to Immaculate Heart Academy, I hope to continue to contribute to this outstanding school in a new and challenging role,” she said. “My history at IHA has provided me with a perspective on the institutional history of the school that is invaluable in mapping its progress forward. IHA is my home, my family, and the focus of my life. My 43 years here have been a blessing.”
Mr. Schlereth, who grew up in Teaneck and has lived in Bergenfield for the past nine years, is a Bergen Catholic graduate from the Class of 1998. He received a B.A. in history and education from William Paterson University and a M.A. degree in educational leadership from St. Peter’s University. After teaching in the Leonia Public School district, Mr. Schlereth started at IHA as the athletic director. He became a member of the administrative team in 2010 and was promoted from assistant principal to vice principal in 2013. He said he looks forward to taking on the challenging position of principal, and is eager to concentrate his full energy and attention to the day-to-day management of the school.
“It is an honor to be tasked with leading an institution as prestigious as IHA,” he said. “I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with such a dedicated, talented faculty and a wonderful student body. Immaculate Heart Academy is a special place filled with tremendous people, and I am thrilled to begin my new position at the school.”
Founded in 1960, Immaculate Heart Academy is an all-girls Catholic regional high school of the Archdiocese of Newark presently celebrating its 55th year. A Blue Ribbon School, IHA enrolls approximately 800 girls in a competitive college preparatory program from more than 100 towns in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey and Rockland and Orange counties in New York. Over the years, IHA has continually grown and evolved, fortifying its academics, activities, and facilities to prepare students for further education, and for the enhancement of society through their personal, professional, and spiritual gifts. Immaculate Heart Academy is located at 500 Van Emburgh Ave., Washington Township, NJ; www.ihanj.com.