Diocese announces new president, board members of school system

Local News
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ERIE, Pa. — The Catholic Diocese of Erie announced its board members along with the new president of the Erie Catholic School System on Tuesday.

Damon R. Finazzo, 38, will lead the new Catholic school system beginning immediately, according to a news release. The Diocese also announced eight members who will serve on the newly created board.

Board members include: John Blakeslee, president of A.F. Schultz Company; Sister Mary Drexler, SSJ, veteran educator; James Gallagher, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Erie; Father Scott Jabo, president of Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy; Father John Malthaner, pastor, St. Luke, Erie, and former headmaster, Venango Catholic; Attorney Jerome Wegley, Knox Law Firm; and Professor Janice Whiteman, Gannon University School of Education. Finazzo will also serve on the board.

Finazzo is an Erie native and graduated from Grove City college with a degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Finnazzo also served as principal at Villa Maria Elementary since 2009.

In February, the Diocese announced that it would condense the nine parish-based schools in Erie into a six-school system. Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Peace, St. George School, St. James, St. Jude and St. Luke will be part of the six-school system starting in the 2017-18 school year.

Bishop Lawrence Persico is expected to announce the names of the principals for each of the six schools within the week, according to the release.

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