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Kathleen Finnigan appointed new Superintendent of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools


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From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

Red Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs. Kathleen Finnigan as the division’s new Superintendent of Schools.

“Over the past four months, the Board of Trustees has been conducting a nationwide search for a new Superintendent of Schools. A key component of the process involved reaching out to key stakeholders to gather their thoughts and opinions regarding the new superintendent,” said Kim Pasula, Board Chair at Red Deer Regional Schools.

“The input received from the consultation, that involved engagement with all staff and parents and guardians in the Division, as well as key stakeholders from our broader community, was central to the recruitment and selection process.”
Finnigan has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, a Master of Education from San Diego State University and is currently working on a Doctorate of Education specializing in K-12 education leadership through the University of Calgary.

Finnigan grew up and graduated in Delburne, a small town east of Red Deer. She comes from a large farming family in which she is one of six girls along with one brother. Finnigan values community. She was taught the importance of community from her parents who were role models of servant leadership with their work in Delburne, Central Alberta and on the provincial scene. Finnigan believes in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” and is looking forward to working in a team to enhance the Red Deer Catholic community whereby students will continue to be the center of all decisions. Finnigan and her husband, Terry, have four boys all educated in Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

Finnigan has 34 years of experience as a professional Catholic educator within the division in the roles as teacher, counsellor, school administrator and senior administrator. She has been part of five different school communities in Red Deer: St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, Maryview School, Holy Family School, St. Martin de Porres School and St. Patrick’s Community School. Finnigan’s first principalship was at St. Martin’s where she worked in a team with a variety of stakeholders to develop the first fine arts school in Central Alberta.

For the past nine years, she has been a member of a senior leadership team holding the positions of Associate Superintendent of Inclusive Learning, Associate Superintendent of Personnel and Acting Superintendent of Schools. Finnigan will continue to foster gospel centred school communities of hope within our division through her connections with staff and stakeholders. She is an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church as proclaimer, eucharistic minister and children’s liturgy teacher.

Over the years, she has won many awards including Women of Excellence for Central Alberta (2016), Canada’s Outstanding Principal (2010), Alberta’s Excellence in Teaching Semi-Finalist (2009), Leadership Award from the Council of School Administrators (2001) and Health and Physical Education Award through the HPEC Council (1989).

At today’s Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees will vote on a motion to seek the approval of the Minister of Education to appoint Finnigan as Superintendent of Schools. As per the Education Act, the Minister of Education approves all Superintendent hires and contracts.

The employment of the former Superintendent was concluded by the Board of Trustees in February 2020 and at that time Finnigan was appointed Acting Superintendent of Schools. Since then, she has navigated the division through the COVID-19 pandemic (school closures, at-home learning and school re-entry of in-person learning) and the new funding model from Alberta Education.

“I am blessed to have been appointed Superintendent at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools; a school division known for exemplary staff and school administrators working together to ensure that Christ is known to students while aspiring to excellence. Alongside the Board of Trustees and staff we will continue to foster gospel centred communities of hope through communication, collaboration, and innovation as we lead our school communities together,” said Superintendent, Kathleen Finnigan at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

“Kathleen was chosen in a highly competitive selection process from a strong field of candidates. She is a highly impressive talent known for her collaborative leadership style that will serve her and our entire staff well in advancing the mission of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools to make Christ known to children,” said Pasula.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools serves over 10,360 students in 20 schools in Red Deer, Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail, and Olds, as well as an at-home learning program. It also supports the learning of over 1095 students in a Traditional Home Education Program. The Division is committed to serving children and parents with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings and within the means of the Division.

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