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Feb 18, 2010 12:58 PM by PRESS RELEASE

Audrey Menard appointed as STM's new principal

Lafayette, Louisiana - February 18, 2010 - The Board of Pastors for St. Thomas More Catholic High School has named Audrey C. Menard as the new Principal of the school effective July 1.

Rev. Louis J. Richard, Chancellor of St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Lafayette and Pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Broussard, announced Menard's appointment at a special faculty meeting earlier Thursday. Describing the process led by the Principal Search Committee, Richard said, "The committee . . . made a unanimous recommendation to hire Mrs. Audrey Menard as Principal for STM. The Owner Board of Pastors concurred with that recommendation and it was approved by me as Chancellor, and Ms. Anna Larriviere, the Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools." Noting Menard's start date in July, Richard continued, "She has already hit the ground running. She has a very good grasp of the strong mission of St. Thomas More Catholic School. We are fortunate and blessed to have her. "

Menard currently serves as Principal of Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, an all-girls Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Joseph.
A doctoral student in Vanderbilt University's Leadership, Policy, and Organizations graduate education program, Menard expects to complete her studies at the conclusion of her first year at STM. "I look forward to bringing the combination of my professional and academic experience to Lafayette to work with the faculty, staff, administration, students, parents, alums, and the owner-parish communities in furtherance of the school's mission," said Menard.

In a letter distributed at Thursday's meeting, Menard introduced herself to her new faculty: "I promise to work to create trust and a collaborative environment for the benefit of the whole community. Relationships are the key to creation of a positive and productive climate. I will work hard to be inclusive and communicate often. . . . I love challenges and take them on with enthusiasm. I am a generalist with global vision and I can't wait to work with your community!"

Members of the search committee offered very positive comments about Menard. "She exhibits knowledge in regard to educational 'best practices' and seems eager to explore new and better ways of preparing students for the future. Audrey seems particularly well qualified to collaborate with others and create a vision for the future of STM, and then to actively lead them in that direction," said STM Math Teacher and Head Football Coach Jim Hightower.

Others agreed. Donna Lemaire, Principal of St. Pius X Elementary School and former Assistant Principal of STM, said, "She not only knows what 21st Century schools should be like, she has the skills to lead a school in becoming a 21st century Catholic school." Added Search Committee Chair Jerry Greig, a former STM parent and school board president, "Audrey has not just a heart for quality Catholic education, but also has the head to make it happen." Menard replaces current principal Ray Simon on July 1, 2010.


Audrey C. Menard, Newly Named Principal of St. Thomas More Catholic High School

Audrey Menard comes to Lafayette from Cleveland, Ohio, where she serves currently as the Principal of Saint Joseph Academy, Cleveland's oldest all-girls Catholic high school. She has earned recognition for her work obtaining a grant to develop personalized learning in the classroom via integration of technology as an executive committee member of Education Works, a northeastern Ohio initiative committed to articulating a regional educational strategy, to nurturing the selected innovation teams, and to setting forth a detailed action plan to improve significantly academic achievement and educational attainment across the region. Other grants she has received include one of 13 grants nationally from the U.S. Department of State's Teachers of Critical Languages Program, which funded a teaching fellow from China for both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years.

Previously, Mrs. Menard was an Assistant Principal at Currituck County High School and Camden County High School in North Carolina; Dean of School at The Renaissance School in Charlottesville, Virginia; and Math Teacher at Fluvanna County Middle School in Virginia. An entrepreneur as well as an educator, Mrs. Menard founded Champion Tutoring in Charlottesville, Virginia, receiving the SBA's SCORE Small Business of the Year Award. Mrs. Menard is a doctoral student in Vanderbilt University's Leadership, Policy, and Organizations graduate education program, and has a M.Ed. in School Administration from the University of Massachusetts. She has traveled internationally to visit and study schools in Germany, France, England, Japan, and China.

Mrs. Menard has been married for nearly 14 years to Brian R. Menard, President of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Together they have two daughters, Margaret (11) and Charlotte (9).

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