August 26, 2009 // Local

Mark Myers named superintendent of Catholic schools

Mark Myers has been appointed superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Mark Myers has been appointed superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

FORT WAYNE — A native of Illinois, Myers earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Illinois University in 1975, followed by a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois in 1979. By 1991 he had earned a doctorate in educational administration from Indiana State University.

His extensive experience includes teaching elementary school for three years in Arcola, Ill., and four years in Japan, where he taught students from 40 different countries. He held the director’s position of a technological program in Illinois that acquired and placed computers in 22 schools and trained teachers and administrators on their use.

Myers also worked as principal for Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, a Ball State University school serving students kindergarten through grade 12. Following his three years there he traveled to Pakistan and Taiwan, spending a year in each country establishing new schools, where he functioned as principal.

Upon his return to the U.S,. he held the position of assistant professor at Stephen Austin State University in Texas before moving to Fort Wayne in 2000. He was serving as assistant professor of educational leadership at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne before accepting the position of superintendent of Catholic Schools.

This enthusiastic educator says that after working in Illinois with Catholic schools and networking with IPFW students who are principals in area Catholic schools, he has developed a respect for what Catholic educators do. “I have respect for what Catholic teachers and principals do. And the sacrifices the parents make to send their kids to Catholic schools. It’s humbling to be part of that,” says the new superintendent.

As for the position of superintendent, Myers admits his wife of 35 years, Julia, brought the advertisement to his attention and felt the job description was a match to his experience and education. He adds that his faith gave him the confidence to apply. “I was prayerful about it and at peace with it. … I was confident if I was found worthy of the job that it was God’s will.” Myers is a six-year convert to the Catholic faith and unabashedly admits that his son, educated in Catholic schools and a graduate of Bishop Dwenger High School, brought him to the Catholic Church. “My faith is a gift of joy,” he says.

The newly appointed superintendent sees this new school year as being filled with promise. “There are a number of opportunities and, of course, some challenges. We are faced with global competition. Our students do well. But we must pass our church and faith to them,” he says, adding that the teachers pass the faith everyday and “do it well,” by being creative with their resources.

As for his new administrative role his immediate goals are to investigate, understand and communicate. “First thing to do is listen. It’s important to understand the dynamics of the schools. We have a diversity of schools and I will listen to the schools, principals and families,” he says and adds, “I want to ensure that communication is open and people are comfortable.  … If you communicate well, you can alleviate problems easier.”

Myers is anxious to begin his work with the schools of the diocese. He hopes to meet with each of the principals as well as school boards and committees. “I hope to work with them to have a great year,” he says.

In announcing the superintendent to diocesan staff, Bishop John M. D’Arcy said, “I am most grateful to the search committee of local Catholic educators for their work in preparation over this appointment. … After much prayer, I have chosen an excellent man who will serve us well.”

Myers’ pitch to Catholic families is to investigate Catholic schools for their children’s education. “For parents,” he says, “Look at Catholic education. Invest early.”

Myers looks forward to the coming years in Catholic education and says, “It’s a great blessing to be able to work with Catholic families in such an important role. My prayer is that I can serve with humility and grace.”

Mark and Julia Myers, who reside in Fort Wayne, have a a son, a daughter and son-in-law, and two granddaughters. Julia is the physical education teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School, where Myers and his son Ryan are members of the parish.

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