Ave Maria principal to direct new education mission office

| June 25, 2015 | 0 Comments
Jason Slattery

Jason Slattery

The principal of Ave Maria Academy in Maple Grove was appointed director for the new Office for the Mission of Catholic Education being formed in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Jason Slattery, who has worked 12 years at Ave Maria, is expected to begin the newly created position Aug. 5. Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens, vicar for Catholic education, announced the appointment June 25.

The Office for the Mission of Catholic Education replaces the Office of Catholic Schools, which is slated to close June 30. The new office is expected to open July 11.

Slattery worked at Ave Maria for two years before becoming its principal 10 years ago. Formerly known as Cedarcrest Academy, the 19-year-old, pre-kindergarten-to-grade-eight school received formal designation as a Catholic school in the archdiocese in 2011. Under Slattery’s leadership, the school completed a $7 million campus project along Bass Lake Road, grew the student body and retained its full staff for the past five years.

“Most importantly, [Slattery] has served as a strong advocate for the mission of Catholic education: the Catholic formation of the whole student, rooted in the dignity of the human person,” read a statement announcing the appointment on the archdiocese’s intranet.

Slattery holds masters degrees from the University of Dayton, Ohio, and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, where he studied the question of Catholic school mission, viability and sustainability, according to the archdiocese.

The statement described the objective of the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education as “helping them [schools] strengthen their mission to bring the love of Jesus Christ to our youth.” Slattery is expected to work closely with the archdiocese’s community partners, including a new Catholic Schools Center of Excellence.

In a statement for The Catholic Spirit, Slattery said he is eager to take on the role and is grateful for Bishop Cozzens’ confidence in him.

“Like so many in Catholic education I have tried to live life responding generously to the call of the Lord and trusting in his grace,” he said. “The last decade of my life was quite literally measured by the ever increasing height and virtue of the students at Ave Maria Academy. Leaving the people and place that I love would be impossible without confidence in the Lord’s call.”

Slattery added that he appreciates the partnerships the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education has made. “While Catholic education faces historic challenges, the need for an education rooted in Jesus Christ has hardly been greater,” he said.

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