Above and beyond: New superintendent Melissa Kasmeier challenges schools to build lifelong disciples

North Texas Catholic
(Feb 19, 2024) Local

Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Melissa Kasmeier, is shown at Holy Family Catholic School in Fort Worth on February 8, 2024. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Melissa Kasmeier, Ed. D., has plans beyond the accomplishments of her 12 years’ experience in Catholic education, and she wants the students enrolled in the 17 diocesan Catholic schools to plan beyond also.

Beyond today. Beyond themselves. Beyond this life.

Kasmeier views Catholic education from a kaleidoscope of perspectives: a parent of Catholic school students, a principal, assistant superintendent, and chief operating officer. Now she’s added another angle — she was recently promoted to superintendent of diocesan Catholic schools.

“It’s helpful,” she said, describing being able to view the school system as a parent, educator, and administrator. “I’ve been grateful to look at the larger picture and see the different pieces of [Catholic education] and how it all works together to achieve the outcome and the goal we’re looking for.”

The goal goes well beyond graduation. “Excellent academics are a given,” she explained, “but being able to help form disciples of Christ” is the outcome she measures.

She explained, “We want to help them see the world through the lens of the Catholic worldview, help them live their life by the Gospel values, and think beyond themselves. How do we help form them so they’re responding to God’s call in this life and beyond?”

Kasmeier came to St. Andrew Catholic School as assistant principal in 2012 after working in the public school system for 17 years as a teacher and principal.

Seven years ago, Kasmeier began working in diocesan school administration, frequently serving dual roles (this school year she’s also interim principal of Holy Family Catholic School) and earning a doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University along the way.

As a school administrator, she has worked with faculty, families, and diocesan leadership to improve services to students with learning differences, to provide direction in opening the schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, to increase faculty training and development, and to coordinate a strong traditional Catholic curriculum across the schools.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Melissa Kasmeier, gives a faith talk to school children after the Holy Family Catholic School Mass on February 8, 2024. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Bishop Michael Olson praised Kasmeier for her management, saying, “Melissa is an excellent listener. She is faithful, attentive, and compassionate. She is also decisive in leadership among the principals and faculty. She also never forgets her parental perspective as a Catholic mother who has seen the benefits of Catholic education in her own family.”

Moving forward, Kasmeier intends to continue to develop partnerships between the schools and the families, parishes, and pastors who support the students. Developing virtuous, faithful people requires everyone, the top administrator said.

Other objectives include increasing the number of lives impacted by education by increasing tuition assistance so more families will have access to a Catholic education.

She said, “We want to be able to affect and impact as many as we can to build up God’s Kingdom here, which is how we affect change in the world. The only way to do that is to get more kids in. That helps us, hopefully, have more vocations to the religious life and to help with the formation of our children to be who God’s called them to be.”

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