Last updated: April 02. 2014 9:58PM - 183 Views

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A new executive director has been at Lehman Catholic High School.

Lehman Catholic Principal Denise Stauffer has announced the employment of the school’s first executive director. Melissa Bennett, of rural Shelby County, will formally assume those duties July 1. Bennett is currently employed by the Shelby and Logan County Educational Service Centers (ESC).

The new position is the result of a change in the school’s governance model. The school will transition from the president/principal model to the principal/CEO model at the end of the current year (June 30). The change was the result of a recommendation from the school’s Board of Limited Jurisdiction. That recommendation was ratified by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Education Commission and ultimately approved by the Most Rev. Dennis Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati.

The executive director will serve as the development, advancement and business operations leader of the school. The position reports directly to the principal/CEO, to ensure the quality of all short and long term advancement efforts, including the annual fund, special events, fund raising, major gifts, planned giving and any capital campaigns. The position also oversees the business and operational areas of the school, as well as public relations, marketing and alumni relations.

“I am delighted to welcome Melissa to this new role,” Stauffer said. “As a former parent and a volunteer, she is very familiar with the school’s operations. In addition, she has an extensive background in grant writing, networking, coordinating events, and project management. She will be an excellent addition to the school’s administrative team.”

Bennett, who holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science Degree from The Ohio State University, currently is the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant coordinator at the ESC, managing a $1,000,000 after-school program grant for Shelby County. In addition, she is also a special projects coordinator and a CAPSTONE/STEM (Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Mathematics) specialist.

Bennett has been a presenter at the Beyond School Hours National Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., in February 2013, and the 21st Century Community Learning Center Conference in Nashville, Tenn., in October 2012. She has also successfully written several large grants both while at the ESC and while she was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture-Ohio Department of Natural Resources Conservation Service.

A member of the Church of the Holy Angels, Bennett has volunteered at the schools her children have attended, including both Hardin-Houston and Lehman. Bennett has been a 4-H adviser and has served as the board chair of the Shelby County 4-H Advisory Board.

“I am a self-driven individual and a passionate Catholic,” Bennett said. “I am excited that after many years of volunteering at Lehman that I will have the opportunity to serve the school in a capacity that will continue to enhance the school’s financial security and ensure that every young person has the opportunity to obtain a Catholic education.”

Bennett and her husband, Jim, are the parents of two Lehman Catholic grads. Meghan graduated in 2012 and is currently a student at The Ohio State University. Pierce graduated in 2013 and is currently a freshman at Kansas State University. In addition, they hosted Rayan Mami, an international student from Paris, France, in 2010-11. He currently resides with them and attends Edison State College.

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