The Governance Board of Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School in San Francisco, California has unanimously recommended the appointment of Dr. Melinda Lawlor Skrade as its next president. The recommendation was received and endorsed by Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco. Dr. Skrade will assume her role as the school’s president in July, 2018.
The announcement was made in a joint statement by Archbishop Cordileone; Sister Julie Kubasak, D.C., Visitatrix, Daughters of Charity, Province of Los Altos Hills, California; and Brother Donald Johanson, FSC, Visitor, De La Salle Christian Brothers, District of San Francisco New Orleans.
Dr. Skrade currently is president of Pope Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she has served in several capacities, first as teacher, then as principal, and finally as president when the school moved to the president-principal model. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership as well as an M.A. in American History, both from Marquette University. Dr. Skrade also has local ties, having taught at Saint Anselm parish school in San Anselmo, California, and also through family members living in the Bay Area.
In making its recommendation, the Governance Board characterized Dr. Skrade by stating, “Melinda has enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to become the next President of Sacred Heart Cathedral. She is an exceptional leader who brings passion for Catholic education, scholarship and experience to this leadership role. Melinda joins Sacred Heart Cathedral embracing our mission, core values and commitment to excellence.”
The recommendation continued, “Melinda is a woman of deep faith who has a clear sense of what it takes to be an effective Catholic school leader, especially in the context of Sacred Heart Cathedral. All of Melinda’s references spoke to her strengths as a leader. She believes that the landscape of Catholic education has dramatically broadened and that it is important for Catholic schools to look beyond their own community, to be outward-looking and forwarding thinking about change, characteristics she sees lived out impressively at Sacred Heart Cathedral.”
“I am,” Dr. Skrade said when commenting on her appointment, “most inspired by the charisms of the Founders and the Community’s love for the Lasallian and Vincentian Family. This gift of grace is alive in the students and their teachers. Every community member I met was a shining star, starting with the wonderful Brother Ron. From the thoughtful student guiding me across campus to proud parents at the basketball game to inspiring educators exchanging new ideas, it was clear that Sacred Heart Cathedral is a faith community rooted in an extraordinary mission and a culture of care and respect. Yet, there was also an important focus on the future and a commitment to excellence. I am truly blessed to serve as the next President.”