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With the help of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a newly constituted school board, St. Bernardine School has hired a new principal for the 2012-13 school year.

Veronica Skelton Cash has been a vice principal at St. John Brebeuf in Niles since 2009.

Cash is a graduate of a new “farm team” school for Catholic school principals, the Archdiocese Leadership Academy. Director Mary Kearny said 30 Catholic school administrators finished the first academy sessions in February and already five have found jobs as principals in what she says is the largest non-public school system in the country.

At the academy, participants learned how to market their school, how to grow and maintain enrollment and how to understand and respect school culture and communicate well with stakeholders in the school, said Kearny.

“Bringing enrollment up is one of my biggest obstacles,” said Cash. She said she was impressed by the academic success of St. Bernardine students and hopes to partner with St. Louise in LaGrange Park to introduce Inquiry Based Learning, an individualized curriculum tailored to each child.

Cash’s current school has 310 students in a parish that is home to many Poles and offers mass in Polish. St. Bernardine’s has an enrollment of around 120 and has a racially diverse student population, many of whom are not Catholic. However, earlier in her career, Cash taught at Betsy Ross School and St. Edmund in Oak Park.

Cash holds a master’s degree in elementary education from Concordia University, a Master of Educational Instructional Leadership from Loyola University, Chicago and a BA in Graphic Arts from Eastern Illinois University. She lives in Riverside.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...