Welcome Principal Carley Dunphey

St Pat’s Families,

I am very pleased to announce that following the unanimous recommendation of the interview committee, I have hired St. Pat’s parishioner Carley Dunphey as the new Principal for St Patrick School.

Carley is a graduate from Michigan State University (go green!) where she earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching.  Here are a few highlights about Carley that made her a great fit for leading our school.

Teaching Experience: She comes to us from the Walled Lake Consolidated School District where she has worked as an educator since 2001.  She has experience teaching fifth, fourth, third, and second grade and has extensive knowledge of all subject matter and best practices in teaching.  During her years of teaching, her classroom was used for Instructional Rounds where other teachers would learn and observe her practices and expertise in literacy instruction, cultures of thinking, and effective classroom management.

She has a solid understanding of curriculum and best practices in teaching and learning, understanding that our courses of study are not only academic pursuits, but a search for Truth.

We were impressed by her experience around social emotional learning and helping build character in the students through healthy discipline.  We believe her experience in meeting the needs of diverse learners and extensive knowledge of supports and interventions needed to meet those needs are critical to our school’s success.  She has knowledge and experience in partnering with parents in their child’s education and the importance of that partnership. She has successfully implemented Positive Behavior Support Systems, resulting in positive change and transformation experience in training students as leaders in character, academics, and faith.  She also has a sound understanding that the values we teach are not only building our character in virtue, but are also helping us to live a holy life.

Leadership Experience: Through her experience, references, and her exceptional interview it became apparent to us that Carley is natural leader, which helps us understand why she has been offered more and more leadership opportunities and positions in her school district. She served as the chairperson of her school’s Leadership Team which focused on school-wide curriculum goals and improvement, data analysis, professional development, forming strong parent/school partnerships, and promoting positive behavior support.  This past year, she was promoted to Head Teacher/Assistant Principal at Commerce Elementary, an elementary school with 656 students and over 50 staff members.  In this role, she worked to maintain a positive school culture, plan professional development for the staff, coach and support teachers in the implementation of new curriculum, form strong relationships with staff and school families, and enhanced the school-wide discipline model by implementing Restorative Practices and additional social-emotional learning techniques. These are just some of her accomplishments. Invested in our Parish:  Carley is unquestionably invested in her faith and in our parish. Carley, her husband Paul, and their five children have been active parishioners at St. Patrick Church since 2010.  Prior to that, they were Core Team Members for the LifeTeen Youth Program at Our Lady of Good Counsel for six years.  In that role, she helped to plan retreats and weekly Life Nights to help high school teens grow in their personal relationships with God.  Here at our parish, she will be completing her second year of the Encounter School of Ministry, she has been a member of a discipleship group for the past five years, participates in the “Restored Healing Ministry,”  and served as a Core Team Member with the Behold Ministry, a ministry for young mothers.

Invested in our School:  Her children attend St. Patrick School where she has also been an active volunteer.  She was the chairperson for the Christian Services Committee from 2016-2018 and this past year she served as the “Whole Family” chairperson and member of the School Advisory Council.  In this role, she created the “Whole Family” monthly newsletter for the school which highlighted our faith and helped families to live out the faith more intentionally in their homes.

God’s Choice to Lead our School:  Notwithstanding that her interview was one of the best I’ve ever seen, I am convinced that Carley is God’s choice for our school.  Throughout the process, the interview committee was praying that God’s choice would become known to us, and we believe it was in Carley.  I want to thank in a special way Ray Rzepecki, Beth Flack, Tony Moskus, Lori Rozum, Luke Sparkman and Kristy Piper and Fr. Joe for serving so faithfully on the interview team.

There are many qualities and characteristics about Carley that I hope you will see in the coming years.  It’s not just that she has a heart for God and forming children in their faith, thereby helping them to know who they are in Christ.  Yes she has that.  But she also, to put it succinctly, is an effective leader of teachers, a superb communicator, and an experienced educator, who through her warm servant leadership style is capable of building a strong and healthy school culture.  In other words, I am confident that under the leadership of Principal Carley Dunphey and our Assistant Principal Kathy Droese our school will continue grow both in its academic excellence and its ability to mediate the profound love of God to the students so they are best prepared to live as disciples and leaders of the challenging world in which we live.

Your servant in the Lord,

Fr Mathias