Annemarie Vega steps in to sing the praises of Rochester Catholic schools
Vega, 38, has just left the Twin Cities to take on the role of president of Rochester Catholic Schools. And as someone who has studied or worked in Catholic schools most of her life, she is ready for the role.
“We have been very determined in our quest to find the right person to lead RCS as we expand our schools and strengthen our mission of providing a top-notch education focused on excellence for the child as a whole,” Dr John Wald, co-chair of the RCS Board of Directors, said in a statement. “Ms. Vega brings innovative experience, proven leadership and a deep dedication to Catholic education that will guide our schools and our students into the future.
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Most recently, Vega worked for the Center of Excellence for Catholic Schools in Minneapolis, where she was Director of Enrollment.
She wasn’t looking to move to Rochester, but she dipped her toes into the proverbial water and started meeting different people all over the community. Soon after, she was actively considering the possibility.
“I said to my husband after one of my first Zoom calls, ‘if you’re not ready to move out, I have to stop this now because if I get this job, there’s no way that I can refuse it, ‘”said Vega.
Her first day of work coincided with the first day of school. She visited each of the five Catholic schools in the system, making live Facebook videos with teachers, principals and students, injecting as much energy as possible at the start of the school year.
As president, Vega will work on resource development, ensuring that schools, teachers and students have what they need to learn and teach. She will also work with system stakeholders, such as alumni and parents. It will have a share in the objectives and financial responsibilities of the system.
She will also be involved in the growth of enrollments in the school system. According to a press release, Vega has helped stabilize enrollment at nearly 80 schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. In fact, she led a team that increased Kindergarten to Grade 8 enrollment by over 1,000 students.
Rochester Catholic Schools has an enrollment of 1,315 students in four elementary and middle schools and one high school, and enrollment is increasing. This year’s enrollment is over 100 more students than last year, and 250 students are new to the Catholic system.
Vega would like to capitalize on this growth and follow it. She said Catholic schools are sometimes guilty of “not singing on the roof” about all the good things they have to offer. But Vega herself doesn’t seem to hesitate to pick up the microphone and hit high notes.
Part of that is because she wants the opportunity to be open to anyone who wants it.
“For families who want a Catholic education, we pledge – I pledge – to make this possible,” Vega said. “This is my commitment to accessibility.”
His own education in Catholic schools reflects this. Vega recounts how her own family went through financial difficulties for a while.
But her family worked with the school to keep her in class. Her mother worried about Vega and her brothers and went to talk to the school principal.
“He looked at her and said, ‘We are not going to unsubscribe your children. This is their home. They are welcome here, and we will work with your family to make it happen, ”said Vega. “I am forever indebted and grateful for this.”
But Vega doesn’t just want to bring in the students. She wants them to thrive once they’re inside. And, just as she can look back and point a finger at a time when her school helped her family overcome their financial difficulties, she can also point a finger at the teachers who prepared her for the world after graduation. diploma.
There was her fifth grade teacher, who was among the first to treat Vega herself like an adult. Another good influence was her high school Spanish teacher who helped Vega see all the possibilities available to her.
These are the kinds of experiences and relationships Vega wants every student in Rochester Catholic schools to have.
“Students, when treated with respect and maturity, can rise to the task,” said Vega. “I think that’s a big part of Catholic education: nurturing and helping kids make their world a bigger place.”