Archdiocese Creates Task Force For Reopening Catholic Schools


As New York State begins to reopen, the Catholic schools in the archdiocese have formed a panel of experts that will focus on creating a safe and responsible plan to reopen their schools. The Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council will report to Michael J. Deegan, archdiocesan superintendent of schools.

To ensure all children and families of the school communities will be protected, the members of the task force will provide a diverse range of expertise and experience that includes medical professionals, regional superintendents and risk managers.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been proactive and thorough in establishing policies to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Deegan said.

“While there is no guarantee our school buildings will open on time for the next academic year, you cannot plan too much or too far in advance for an undertaking of this magnitude. The experts we have gathered on this blue-ribbon committee represent the elite from their fields, including public health, risk management, logistics, architecture and engineering. We have brought together the best because that is what our schools deserve.”

The members of the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council include:

  • Maureen McElduff, coordinator of the Catholic Schools Reopening Advisory Council
  • Frank Napolitano, director of Risk Management and Insurance Service for the archdiocese   
  • Kevin Quinn, operations manager of Catholic Mutual Group    
  • Michael J. Coppotelli, associate superintendent of student services and public policy for the archdiocese; Mayor’s COVID-19 Education Sector Advisory Council           
  • Mary Jane Daley, regional superintendent of Dutchess, Northern Westchester & Putnam      
  • John Riley, regional superintendent of Northwest and South Bronx                 
  • Steven Pallonetti, director of Child Nutrition for the archdiocese   
  • Amy Rodriguez, principal of Immaculate Conception School, the Bronx  
  • Maureen Noonan, head of school at Blessed Sacrament, Manhattan 
  • Joann Walsh, associate superintendent of early childhood education for the archdiocese      
  • Jane Schwedfeger, director of Property Management for the archdiocese
  • Dr. Walid Michelen, chief medical officer of ArchCare
  • Dean Jackson, senior operations manager, Service Master
  • Paul R. Checco, AIA, PC Studio Architects, PLLC
  • Rolando Kraeher of Kraeher Architects

Catholic schools in the archdiocese serve nearly 67,000 students from pre-k through 12th grade across 191 schools in 10 counties and boroughs throughout New York, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange and Dutchess.


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