New associate superintendents offer varied skills

The Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) of the Archdiocese of New Orleans is starting the new school year with a new superintendent and several new associate superintendents and heads of new ministries.

Superintendent Dr. RaeNell Houston welcomes Michael Buras, Ingrid Fields and Martha Mundine as associate superintendents as well as Katherine Clause Shea as special needs coordinator and Kasey Webb as director of instructional technology.

Michael Buras began his career in education as a high school history teacher in 2001.

From 2005-14, he was a teacher, soccer coach and administrator at De La Salle High School in New Orleans.  In 2015, Buras accepted the role as the closing principal of St. Agnes School in Jefferson.

For the past two years, Buras has served the needs of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Slidell as its principal. He is married and a father of four and is a member of St. Matthew the Apostle Parish.

As associate superintendent, his responsibilities will include teacher certification, international students, assisting schools with staffing and personnel and coordinate ACT Aspire and AdvancEd accreditation and finalize important reports.

“My ultimate goal in this new role is to ensure the vitality of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans by assisting Catholic school principals with their day-to-day needs,” Buras said. “I look forward to helping principals accomplish all of the goals set forth in their schools’ continuous improvement plans.”

 

 

Ingrid R. Fields’ primary responsibilities will be to make Catholic education affordable for all families. She plans to work closely with school leaders who participate in the state scholarship program and TDR/TDC program and will monitor Federal Title Programs. She also will work as a liaison between schools and LEAs (Local Education Agency), serve as the state grant administrator (EEF and 8g) and promote, monitor and oversee the Needy Children Fund and Champions of Catholic Education.

Fields has more than 20 years of experience as an educator. She is a mother of biological son Kenya C. Huggins Jr., a ninth-grader at St. Augustine High School, and adopted son An’toine V. Williams, a 12th grader at Wild Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland. She graduated from Redeemer High School in 1993 and earned a bachelor of science in elementary education from Southern University at New Orleans in 1998 and a master of arts in school principalship/educational leadership from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2006. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Grand Canyon University.  She is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament-St. Joan of Arc  Church in New Orleans.

“It is my personal goal to build supportive rela­tionships that will promote Catholic education through the teachings of Christ,” Fields said. “As a parent and educator, I am thrilled to be a part of a ministry that understands each student is inherently a critical component of the Catholic Church and the communities that we live in. I am passionate about educating students and grateful that God chose me to touch the lives of his people through the work that I do.”

 

Martha Mundine will work primarily with high school principals – facilitating their meetings, being the liaison with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and solidifying  Catholic identity in high schools. Mundine earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education in 1992, and a master’s of education in educational leadership in 2002, both from the University of South Alabama.

She has previously worked in the Archdiocese of Mobile and the Diocese of Biloxi.

In 1992, Mundine began teaching at St. Alphonsus  School in Ocean Springs,

Mississippi. In 1995, upon a family move to Mobile, Alabama, she started teaching middle school at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School.  She taught there for six years, simultaneously serving as assistant principal for four years. In 2001, Mundine was principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School.  In 2004, she moved her career to St. Dominic Catholic School, where she remained until a family move to Slidell in 2011. From 2011-17, she served as principal of Pope John Paul II High School before moving to the Office of Catholic Schools.

Mundine has been married to David Mundine since 1993.  They have two children: Ryan is 20 years old, and Katherine is 14. They are parishioners of St. Genevieve in Slidell.

 

 

As the special needs coordinator, Katherine Shea, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, has been facilitating and monitoring the St. Paul’s High School Pilot Initiative for Students with Developmental Disabilities by supporting and monitoring newly implemented initiatives targeting students with specialized needs. She also serves as a liaison between the Office of Catholic Schools and St. Michael’s Special School and Holy Rosary Academy and High School. She also is the OCS representative on the newly reorganized Archdiocesan Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

Shea has served more than 25 years in public education. As a nationally credentialed speech-language pathologist, she has experience in the use of best practices for people with developmental disabilities, from birth to 21 years of age, and their families. Her work has focused on improving communication and language-learning for children with autism and related disorders, use of assistive technologies, teacher professional development, supporting the needs of families and facilitating educational systems changes.

Additionally, Shea successfully included children with various special needs when she volunteered as a Catholic religious education teacher and Girl Scout leader.

Soon after retiring from public education in 2016, Shea “felt called to” accept the invitation to join Office of Catholic Schools to take a lead role in advancing archdiocesan special needs initiatives. It’s only been in recent years that she has understood that her work on behalf of children with disabilities has been her way of honoring the life of her late, youngest brother, Keith, whose medical diagnosis of cerebral palsy rendered him completely dependent upon others, unable to attend school or receive many of the services available today.

A native of New Orleans whose home parish was Our Lady of the Rosary until Hurricane Katrina (now St. Pius X), Shea expressed gratitude and humility to have the opportunity to minister to the needs of children with disabilities and their families as special needs coordinator. She hopes to utilize her personal life and professional experiences, expertise and reliance on the Holy Spirit to advance the archbishop’s call to prioritize the education of all children whose families yearn for full inclusion in the Catholic church.  To quote Archbishop Aymond, “If we truly respect all life, our Catholic schools must embrace those who have been excluded and provide more programs and services to ‘welcome home’ all of God’s children.”

 

Kasey Webb joins the Office of Catholic Schools as the director of instructional technology. She will partner with archdiocesan schools helping leaders and teachers leverage technology to increase small-group and data-driven instruction.

For the past three years, Webb served as a Blended Learning Manager with Seton Education Partners, where she led Catholic school teachers and leaders in fully implementing a blended learning model in grades K-8. Previously, Webb managed operations and data for Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles and also taught as a Teach for America corps member.  In 2008, Webb graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. She earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Loyola Marymount University in 2011.

A New Orleans native, Webb is elated to return to her hometown and plans to conduct in-school trainings related to instructional technology. She is married and a parishioner

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