Beth Ann Simno, longtime administrator at Mount Carmel Academy and a guiding force in the recovery of the school post-Katrina, will assume the role of the school’s principal in June 2014, according to Congregation of Mount Carmel president, Sister Lawrence Habetz, and current president/principal Sister of Mount Carmel Camille Anne Campbell.
Simno, 58, began her career as an educator at Mount Carmel Academy in 1978 and was appointed vice president of the school in 1992 by its board of directors. Simno will be the first lay principal of the all-girls’ Catholic institution.
The announcement of Simno as principal falls near the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
“We celebrate Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s acceptance of the will of God in her life and the role of the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Savior,” Sister Camille Anne said. “It seems only fitting that we should announce the promotion of an educational leader who has served the young ladies of this institution with such dedication, devotion and selfless service. Ms. Simno embodies the values of Carmelite spirituality with its mission of prayer and service. She is committed to providing a holistic learning environment. Her knowledge of this facility and our mission will serve her well as she makes the seamless transition to principal. Confirmation of her gifts and abilities as an administrator comes from the recognition she received from the National Catholic Education Association as one of seven outstanding educators in the United States.
“This is a great honor to be selected principal of this outstanding school,” Simno said. “I appreciate the trust and confidence of the Sister Lawrence, Sister Camille Anne, the Sisters of Mount Carmel and the board of directors. My colleagues at this campus are outstanding, dedicated, caring educators who shape our young ladies and foster the spiritual development of each student. I will serve Mount Carmel and its family with focus, dedication, prayer and respect.”
Sister Lawrence, president of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, noted, “Sister Camille Anne has been a steady, guiding force for Mount Carmel Academy. Her successor, Beth Ann Simno, will provide the institution with the stability and comprehensive learning environment that is expected of us. She is a model administrator and the right choice for this school. We are confident that she will successfully manage and direct Mount Carmel Academy.”
The board of directors’ Succession Committee recommended Simno succeed Campbell as principal. The recommendation was accepted by the board and Sisters Habetz and Campbell.
Simno is a member of the National Catholic Education Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Louisiana Association of Principals, the Louisiana Association of School Executives. She currently serves as a Southern Regional representative in the National Catholic Educational Association, as a certified AdvancEd Quality Assurance Review Team Chair and a SACS-CASI annual conference presenter.
Sister Camille Anne Campbell, who has served as principal for 33 years, will continue to serve in the role of president as she continues to oversee the interests of the Carmelites.
In recent years, Mount Carmel Academy has been recognized four times as one of the nation’s Top 50 Catholic Schools, a Blue Ribbon School and the recipient of the Innovation in Education Award from Today’s Catholic Teacher. Mount Carmel Academy in Lakeview, provides Catholic formation and education for girls in grades 8-12.