Green Bay diocese unveils plans to improve schools

Local News

The Diocese of Green Bay announced a new plan today to help improve and grow its school system. Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports the initiative is the result of months of input from Catholics across Northeast Wisconsin.

For over 20 years Margaret Koskinen has been a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic Middle School. She says a faith-based education is something every family should consider, especially in this day and age.

“I think the world today needs us, it needs this type of situation,” Koskinen said.

“I ask you to join me in this effort, as we together are disciples on the way,” said Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay. 

Thursday Bishop Ricken revealed a plan aimed at growing enrollment at 53 schools. In part, by doing a better job telling the public the educational mission of the ministry.

“It’s finding a new way to present the gospel and our teaching with people so they can understand and identify with it,” said Ricken.

“I think when people think about our schools, they think about what our schools looked like in the 1950, not what a 21st century Catholic school looks like,” said Todd Blahnik, Assistant Director of Education at Diocese of Green Bay.

Through a series of steps to be initiated over a five-year time period, schools in the diocese will offer teachers better salaries, upgrade their technology, develop a marketing campaign to tell their story and continue to focus on the spiritual needs of both students and their families.

“The end game is really to enliven our parishes with better attendance, the schools to increase enrollment and to help the students engage with the world in the proper way from the point of view with faith,” the Bishop said.

It’s a plan that took 18 months to put together and included the feedback from Catholics in the 16 counties that the diocese serves.  A realization that times have changed and so too – must Catholic schools.

Another component is fundraising. Bishop Ricken says the diocese is still working on setting a goal to fund these changes.

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