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Digital academy principal gets additional role: superintendent

Lisa Lorenz new superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Burlington and principal of St. Therese Digital Academy, an online catholic high school. Submitted photo Lisa Lorenz new superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Burlington and principal of St. Therese Digital Academy, an online catholic high school.
The principal of the Diocese of Burlington’s new St. Therese Digital Academy has another assignment: superintendent of Catholic schools for the statewide diocese.

St. Therese Digital Academy, an online Catholic high school, opened its virtual doors in June in preparation for the fall semester. Through it, the rich tradition of a Catholic education can reach students in areas of the diocese that would not otherwise be able to access it.

Lisa Lorenz, who assumed responsibilities with the online academy in April, took over as Catholic schools chief on Aug. 1, replacing Sister of Mercy Laura DellaSanta who is the new principal of Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington.

“It is my intention to get [the digital academy] up and running this year and hire a new principal to take it over as the demands will soon increase,” Lorenz said. “That way I will be able to solely devote my time [to serving as] superintendent.”

There are 10 Catholic elementary, three Catholic high schools and one Catholic preschool in Vermont. 

Born in Okinawa to a military family, Lorenz relocated from Hanover, Penn., to Milton.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1994; a master’s in moral theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Penn., in 1997; and a master’s in pastoral counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore in 2008.  She taught Catholic middle school, was an elementary school administrator and was coordinator for graduate school in school counseling and mental health.

She is a licensed counselor in Maryland and Vermont.  

Her work has included private and public schools working with at-risk children, adolescents and families in urban school settings and private practice providing counseling for children, adolescents and adults/couples. Her special areas of interest include academic success, depression and anxiety disorders, bereavement, anxiety, pastoral and spiritual concerns, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior interventions for children/adolescents in home and school settings and animal assisted therapy.

“I have many years of experience in education and leadership on a variety of levels. I am a collaborative leader, a good listener and bring a skill set of being able to provide programmatic assessments and problem solving,” she said. “In addition, I have a deep love and passion for my faith, education and mental health and well-being.”

According to the new superintendent of Catholic schools, the biggest challenge that Catholic schools face in Vermont is sufficient enrollment and lack of resources.

“I plan on getting to know every school, the principals, teachers, students and families well,” she said. “Equally important is assessing our resources, talents and gifts, thinking outside the box, being creative and open-minded so that we support this important mission of the Church to help our families in bringing Catholic education to all who thirst” for it.

Her hobbies include running, hiking, kayaking and training her dogs in hopes they will become therapy dogs. She also enjoys cooking, playing piano, oil painting and taking long walks on dirt roads.

Article written by Cori Fugere Urban, Vermont Catholic staff writer.
Cori Fugere Urban

Cori Urban is a longtime writer for the communications efforts of the Diocese of Burlington and former editor of The Vermont Catholic Tribune.

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