Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Catholic school chief has Moeller tie

New superintendent was principal of Kenwood school

By Cindy Kranz, ckranz@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A former Moeller High School principal and Marianist brother from Dayton, Ohio, has been hired to lead the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's schools.

        Brother Joseph Kamis, S.M., is the new superintendent of schools and director of the Department of Educational Services. He succeeds Sister Kathryn Ann Connelly, S.C., who hired him for the Moeller job. She is retiring June 30.

   Name: Brother Joseph Kamis, S.M.
   Age: 55
   Born: Cleveland
Bachelor of science in education, University of Dayton; master's degree in educational administration/supervision, John Carroll University, Cleveland.
Teacher, assistant principal and president/principal, Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland; principal/manager, St. Laurence College, Dublin, Ireland; assistant principal, St. Joseph High School, Cleveland; principal, Archbishop Moeller High School, Kenwood; assistant provincial and director of education, Cincinnati Province of the Society of Mary (Marianists); provincial since 1997.
        The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, with 56,000 students enrolled in 22 secondary and 114 elementary schools, has the ninth-largest Catholic school system in the country.

        Brother Kamis, 55, is the provincial for the Dayton-based Cincinnati Province of the Society of Mary (Marianists). His job is being eliminated as four provinces are merging into one in St. Louis.

        He will join the archdiocese on Jan. 6, after a sabbatical. Until then, Anne Battes Kirby, deputy superintendent, will be interim superintendent.

        “As a Marianist, our charism is steeped very much in education,” he said. “My experience has been as a teacher, administrator and principal in various schools. I saw this as an opportunity to take the experience I've had and work with others who are dedicated and committed to education.

        “I must admit it is a bit scary and a bit awesome, but with the people there and encouragement I've received, I'm looking forward to the fun of it all and to be of service to parents, students, administrators and principals of the archdiocese.”

        A native of Cleveland, Brother Kamis was principal at Moeller High School in Kenwood from 1986 to 1991. Sister Connelly described him as a caring individual, quiet and a good listener.

        “He's coming with a lot of experience from across the country,” she said. “He comes with a definite love of Catholic education. I became acquainted with that when he was principal at Moeller. In my conversations with him, that has only gotten deeper.”

        Brother Kamis described his management style as collaborative, which he believes will fit with how the office is run now.

        The biggest challenge facing Catholic schools, he said, is finances and tuition. “It's getting out of control for the normal family, and especially the poorer families, to afford Catholic education. It's my belief anyone who desires it should be able to attend Catholic schools.”

        He doesn't expect the church's priest scandals to affect Catholic school enrollment.

        “It's probably too early to tell, but I think Catholics are pretty up-to-date on what's happening in the church, and they can see there's really no connection with that. Catholic schools are good whether we have scandals or not. They have proved that over the years with test scores and the number of students who have gone on to college.”


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