Principal named interim leader of Catholic schools

Barbara Edmondson take over after Ronald J. Valenti's retirement

August 30, 2010|By Mary Gail Hare | The Baltimore Sun

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien has named a Catholic school principal as interim superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Barbara Edmondson, principal at the School of the Incarnation in Gambrills since 2000, took over leadership this summer of the system that includes more than 50 schools.

Edmondson, who fills the position vacated by the retirement of Ronald J. Valenti, superintendent since 1989, comes to the job in the wake of a consolidation plan that closed 13 schools in June. She will deal with declining enrollment and mounting costs of maintaining aging infrastructure.

She recently addressed a gathering of the faculties of Seton Keough High School and Holy Angels Elementary, the archdiocese's newest elementary and its first to share a building with a high school.

"The little ones will bring energy, life and blessings to all on this campus," she said.

In a letter to officials of the archdiocese, O'Brien wrote that Edmondson "will, no doubt, most ably guide our schools during this pivotal transition year."

During her tenure at Incarnation, Edmondson, the school's first principal, helped increase the enrollment from 80 to 800 students. She also served as principal at St. Ambrose School in Cheverly and taught at elementaries in New Jersey and Washington. She spent a decade as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

The committee charged with recommending a permanent superintendent will continue its work of identifying the candidates to lead one of the nation's oldest Catholic school systems, officials said.

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