Catholic Schools

Catholic Schools Office names new administrators

The Office of Catholic Schools will welcome four new associate superintendents in the 2012-13 school year. The administrators will assume their posts July 1.

Kevin Calkins, 38, will relocate to the New Orleans area from Austin, Texas, after a four-year tenure as founding principal of St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School. Before that, the New York City native served as a history/theology teacher and administrator at Xavier High in Middletown, Conn., then as dean of academics at Jesuit-operated Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles.

As an associate superintendent, Calkins, who earned a master of education degree in administration and supervision at Jesuit-operated Fordham University, will focus on Catholic identity, capital campaigns, high school advancement, teacher development and high school budgeting.

An assistant professor of education at Our Lady of Holy Cross College since 2000, Dr. RaeNell Houston, 37, currently splits her time between OLHCC and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, where she is an instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Her instructional expertise involves teaching undergraduate and graduate students how to teach literacy at the elementary school level, as well as ways teachers can incorporate literacy into all subjects in grades preK-12.

Houston, a native of Boothville and a parishioner of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Marrero, earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. At the Office of Catholic Schools she will focus on curriculum development and implementation, especially as they relate to literacy and language arts.

Dr. Rebecca Maloney, 51, taught chemistry, earth science and biology for nine years at Archbishop Chapelle High School before spending 8 1/2 years as an associate professor and chair of the Education Department at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. In 2011, Maloney was appointed the director of institutional effectiveness for Notre Dame Seminary, responsible for overseeing the New Orleans seminary’s accreditation and assessment requirements.

A New Orleans native and parishioner of Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville, Maloney earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UNO, with a specialty in educational technology. As an associate superintendent, she will focus on curriculum, technology and the professional development of teachers, while continuing her accreditation work for the seminary.

Jack Truxillo, 56, was principal of St. Agnes Elementary School in Jefferson from 2000-05 before assuming his current post as director of admissions at his alma mater, Jesuit High School. Prior to his years serving Catholic education, Truxillo, a native of Old Jefferson and a lifetime parishioner of St. Agnes, spent 22 years with Jefferson Parish public schools as a middle and high school administrator and a special education and social studies teacher.

In his new position with the Office of Catholic Schools, Truxillo, who earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Loyola University New Orleans, will collaborate with principals throughout the archdiocese on their admission and recruitment strategies.

“I would like to thank the new associate superintendents for saying yes to the ministry of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New Orleans,” said Dr. Jan Lancaster, superintendent of Catholic schools, announcing the new appointments. “In talking to each of these individuals, the commonality among all was their desire to serve our church in the ministry of Catholic education. We are here as servant leaders to help our family of schools be authentically Catholic in a culture of academic excellence and be affordable to parents who want to provide their child with a Catholic education.”

Lancaster also thanked the search committee, led by Dr. Myles Seghers, the interim president of Our Lady of Holy Cross College, and acknowledged the many qualified candidates who expressed interest in the positions.

“I was humbled and appreciative of their willingness to serve,” she said.

Beth Donze can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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