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Listecki at John Paul II Academy

Archbishop Jerome Listecki of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee visits in May with students eating lunch at John Paul II Academy, 2023 Northwestern Ave. The archbishop announced on May 24 the formation of the Siena Catholic Schools of Racine system, which is to involve all Racine-area parishes and Catholic schools. 

RACINE — The Siena Catholic Schools of Racine, an organization established last year to more fully connect Racine-area Catholic schools, is continuing to make the transition to full implementation.

As part of the transition, Brenda White, president of Siena Catholic Schools, has announced the appointments of Todd Willems and Stephen Schroeder to key leadership positions in the newly formed school system.

Willems has been appointed director of schools and joins Siena Catholic Schools from the Messmer Catholic Schools in Milwaukee, where he has served as principal of the high school since 2013. As part of this role, he implemented the Project Lead the Way Engineering curriculum increasing participation in STEM-based programs and furthered partnerships with several Milwaukee area universities and Milwaukee area non-profit organizations.

Prior to his role at Messmer, Willems served for eight years at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, where he filled a variety of administrative roles while also teaching. A key contribution was a full review and alignment to state and national standards. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a master of science degree in school leadership and curriculum/instruction from Cardinal Stritch University.

Willems will gradually assume his responsibilities as director of schools over the next eight weeks. He will work with the principals at each of the Siena schools.

Schroeder formerly worked at SCJ

Schroeder has been appointed director of business and joins Siena Catholic Schools after nearly a decade as a finance professional at SC Johnson. Most recently he served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He has extensive knowledge in information technology, risk management and auditing.

Prior to his role at SC Johnson, Schroeder served as enterprise risk manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP, an international accounting firm, where he was responsible for planning, management and execution of audits and initiatives for a wide range of clients. He is a veteran of the Air Force, where he rose to the position of officer in charge at the Aircraft Generation Squadron of the Illinois Air National Guard. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Northeastern Illinois University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Schroeder assumed his responsibilities in late November and has been actively working with the Siena Board, business managers of the Racine Catholic parishes and administrative leaders at St. Catherine’s High and Middle School.

About Siena Catholic Schools of Racine

Siena Catholic Schools of Racine unites the area’s five Catholic elementary schools including John Paul II Academy, Our Lady of Grace Academy, St. Joseph, St. Lucy, St. Rita and St. Catherine’s Middle/High schools in a regional model of Catholic education intended to preserve the individual identity, history and uniqueness of each school while maximizing the impact of collective strength.

The 2017-18 school year is a year of transition and moving from the previous model of individual schools to a collaborative system with full implementation targeted for July 2018.

System development has been aligned with the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools to ensure a commitment to excellence across a variety of activities including Mission and Catholic Identity, Governance and Leadership, Academic Excellence and Operational Vitality.

In July 2017, the State of Wisconsin approved the articles of incorporation for Siena Catholic Schools of Racine, officially marking its launch as a nonprofit corporation in Wisconsin.

More information about Siena Catholic Schools may be found at www.racinecatholicschools.org.

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