Jodi Marlin
March 21, 2023 // Bishop

Maugel Appointed Superintendent of Schools as Brettnacher Retires

Jodi Marlin

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has appointed Associate Superintendent of Schools David Maugel as the new Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Maugel will take over the top leadership role in the Catholic Schools Office from Dr. Joseph Brettnacher on July 1, after the end of the 2022-23 school year. Brettnacher announced his retirement on Monday, March 20.

In a letter to teachers and administrators, Brettnacher expressed gratitude to Bishop Rhoades for the opportunity to lead and to grow in his roles within the vocation of Catholic education. He said there are many priests, administrators, and educators within the diocese who have “worked to deepen students’ relationship with Jesus Christ within His mystical body, the Church, to form disciples of Christ, and to help them to fulfill their destinies to become saints and to reach heaven, the ultimate goal of Catholic education.  All have helped me deepen my Catholic faith.”

Joshua Schipper
Dr. Joseph Brettnacher and David Maugel pose for a photo at the Archbishop Noll Center in Fort Wayne. Dr. Brettnacher on Monday, March 20, announced his retirement as Superintendent of Catholic Schools effective July 1, and the appointment by Bishop Rhoades of Maugel, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools, as the new superintendent.

Brettnacher had experience in the industry and as a public-school teacher when, in 1996, he was hired by Bishop John D’Arcy as principal of Marian High School, Mishawaka. He served in the position until 2004. In 2019, he was offered the position of Superintendent of Schools by Bishop Rhoades.

He steps down acknowledging that his greatest gratitude is for the many blessings he has received from God.

“All that one can hope for in any role is to advance the great work of those who preceded us,” he said.  I pray that I have done so. Know that I will pray for everyone and miss you and the work of Catholic education.”

Maugel has been the Associate Superintendent of Schools since 2021. He is a former math teacher and served as the principal at NorthWood High School in Nappanee for 16 years. During that time, he was also an Indiana Principal Leadership Institute Mentor, helping principals develop their own leadership capabilities and resources.

He served on the Indiana Association of School Principals Board of Directors for six years, sharing the voice of principals in District 2 of the State of Indiana, and has been doing the same for schools within the Indiana State School Music Association since 2018. He is a graduate of IPFW, Goshen College, and the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy.

Maugel’s tenure in education, including his nearly two years with the diocese, has been characterized by strong leadership and extensive experience in professional collaboration, which he foresees forming part of his mandate as superintendent.

“Education in general is a challenging environment right now, with teacher shortages and administrative shortages,” he said. “That exists in every aspect of education across our country. I think the challenge (for local diocesan schools) is going to be continuing our pursuit of Catholic leaders who feel called to be in these positions of teaching and leading, and who understand that the struggles are going to be there. As Catholics, we’re called to live that life of struggle but find joy within that struggle, in our consent to the Lord.”

Maugel is a proponent of expressing the joy that can come from the leadership role of a teacher or administrator in a Catholic school.

“It’s amazing when you realize the awesome responsibility of shaping so many in our mission into sainthood through education. God calls a person to this because He knows they can handle it. He knows they will find a way to help His children grow in their sainthood.” 

The Catholic Schools Office is diving deep into ongoing professional development for current teachers and principals, Maugel noted. A new skill set evolving for principals is how to coach teachers who may not be entering that career field with the same skill set they had only five or so years ago.

Maugel is excited about a new format being experienced with the first cohort of the Aspiring Catholic Leaders program that has yielded abundant fruit in the area of collaboration, lending both positive support and fraternal correction to current educators and principals versus expecting them to experience growth and development in isolation.

His vision for “building on the great things that Dr. Joe Brettnacher, Jeff Kieffer, and principals have accomplished throughout the last four years” consists of:

• Continuing to develop growth through the alignment of Strategic and School Improvement Plans with professional development approaches to ensure the mission of creating saints through the ministry of education;

• Increasing the use of cohort systems to create communal opportunities to learn from one another as well as experts in Catholic identity and academic excellence;

• Seeking to assist principals with developing knowledge, skills, and implementing systems that will meet the needs of every child in the care of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Maugel resides with his wife, Dawn, in Wakarusa. They have three grown sons. At the couple’s parish, St. John the Evangelist in Goshen, he formed part of the Next Generation Parish Envisioning Team that clarified the parish purpose, vision, values, and the top three pastoral priorities and related goals as well as researched the allocation of resources to support the plan. He remains a member of the parish’s Rekindle the Fire Men’s Group and a parish Eucharistic Minister.

The new superintendent will continue to work hand-in-hand with Associate Superintendent and former principal Jeff Kieffer, to whom he is already grateful for many insights that facilitated his transition from public to Catholic school leadership. Maugel added that he will also carry with him Brettnacher’s demonstration of humble leadership, something for which he feels particularly blessed.

“He’s been a great mentor for me. It has really allowed me to connect my faith with my career and make this a vocation, and it has been really exciting.”

Dr. Joe Brettnacher Grateful for Vocation in Education, Service

Dear Clergy, Religious, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Parents, and Community,

Dr. Joseph Brettnacher

It is with joy and gratitude to all of you that I am announcing my retirement, effective June 30, 2023, and important to me to share my gratitude to all of you! 

I am grateful that The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades offered me the opportunity to be the Superintendent of Schools beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. Working under his direction and with The Very Reverend Mark Gurtner and Carl Loesch was an honor. I want to thank past and present clergy, religious, administrators, faculty, staff, parents, and communities for their excellent work shaping our students. All have worked to deepen students’ relationship with Jesus Christ within His mystical body, the Church, to form disciples of Christ, and to help them to fulfill their destinies to become saints and to reach heaven, the ultimate goal of Catholic education.  All have helped me deepen my Catholic Faith.

I am so grateful to have had tremendous support within the Catholic Schools Office and other diocesan ministries during my four years as the Superintendent of Schools.

It has been an honor to work and serve with other Catholic educators and administrators from the Arch(Dioceses) throughout the state and country, including many Catholic organizations, colleges, universities, and foundations.

I started my vocation in Catholic education when The Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy hired me as the Principal of Marian High School from 1996 to 2004. Before then, I worked in the steel mills and public high schools/vocational centers, and since then, I have served mainly in other dioceses and a few years in public education. I have been a teacher, coach, high school principal, president, and superintendent; each role brought me great satisfaction during the triumphs and lessons learned during the struggles. While in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and other locations, I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone, past and present, to form the minds of our students.

Especially, I want to thank my wife, Pam, and family, who supported my pursuit of a vocation in Catholic education, public school education, and industry. My children benefited tremendously from their Catholic education. I am going to enjoy spending more time with my family during retirement.

My greatest gratitude is for the many blessings I have received from God.

All that one can hope for in any role is to advance the great work of those who preceded us. I pray that I have done so.

Know that I will pray for everyone and miss you and the work of Catholic education.

Dr. Joe Brettnacher, Superintendent of Schools

David Maugel named Superintendent of Schools

Dear Clergy, Religious, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Parents, and Community,

I am honored to announce that The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades has appointed Mr. David Maugel as the next Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2023. David has spent the last two years as one of our two outstanding Associate Superintendents; Mr. Jeff Kieffer is the other. Mr. Maugel will do an excellent job overseeing our 43 schools to ensure our students excel spiritually, academically, socially, and physically. David is a devout Catholic and active St. John the Evangelist Church member in Goshen, Indiana. His faith and experience in Catholic and secondary education will serve the diocese well.

For the Catholic Schools Office, David Maugel heads the High School Principals Curriculum Committee, Aspiring Catholic Leaders Program, New Principals Committee, and Special Education Committee, and has numerous other duties. He has experience with Leadership Development through Action (Inquiry) Research. He has provided teacher development through Professional Learning Community Philosophies and is experienced in strategic planning.

Mr. Maugel graduated from Edgerton High School in Ohio. He then attended Goshen College and IPFW. His degrees include a B.A. in Math Education and an M.S. in Education. Mr. Maugel graduated in April of 2006 from the Indiana Principal’s Leadership Academy. He was honored with the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2002). He was awarded IASP District 2 Principal of the Year in 2010, 2013, and 2016. In 2016, Mr. Maugel was named the Indiana High School Principal of the Year. In 2011, Mr. Maugel was selected to serve for the National Science Foundation to review Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching candidates. He was selected as an expert evaluator to serve the United States Department of Education in 2012, reviewing TIF 4 grants. He has also served on the Indiana State School Music Association and Indiana Association of School Principals and as a mentor for the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute.

Maugel was the Principal of NorthWood High School from August 2006 to 2021. Previous experience also includes teaching Math at Central Noble Community Schools and serving as the Assistant Principal for Smith Green Community School, where he was promoted to Principal.

Dr. Joe Brettnacher, Superintendent of Schools

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