Diocese welcomes new Incarnation principal

The Diocese of Venice Office of Catholic Education has announced the hiring of a new principal for Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota.

The hiring of Amy Yager was announced jointly on June 9, 2021 by Diocese Superintendent of Catholic Education Father John Belmonte, SJ, and Incarnation Parish Pastor Father Eric Scanlan.

Yager joins Incarnation from New York, where she was a high school principal for nine years (2012-2021) at Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory School in Brooklyn. A native New Yorker who grew up on Long Island, she met her husband, Chris, in high school and they both attended St. John’s University in Queens. There she graduated with a degree in psychology. Yager went on to get an advanced degree in counseling at Long Island University and secured a position as a School Counselor at a New York City public high school.

She was recruited by the New York City Department of Education to train to become a Principal and was admitted into an accelerated Principal preparation program through Baruch College. During her time as principal, she increased enrollment, increased the graduation rate from 49 percent to more than 90 percent, and created an all-inclusive environment where students felt welcome and safe.

Yager, with her husband and three boys, relocated to Sarasota where they enjoy spending their time outdoors at Siesta Key beach and on the Legacy Trail. They are now members of Incarnation Parish and looking forward very much to getting to know the community

Father Belmonte said a comprehensive selection process brought the best candidate to Incarnation Catholic School. The process included a dedicated search committee which was represented by the teachers, parents, and school board.

Father Scanlan thanked the search committee for the effort in finding the person who best fits the needs of Incarnation Catholic School.

“We are very excited about the leadership Principal Yager will bring to further our mission of faith, excellence, and education at Incarnation,” Father Scanlan said.

Yager will officially assume her new role on July 1, 2021.

New Verot Principal announced

The Diocese of Venice Department of Education has announced Suzie O’Grady as principal of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers by Bishop Frank J. Dewane effective April 21, 2021.

O’Grady, who was serving as the interim principal, has a well-established and highly respected reputation as an exemplary educator and successful administrator.

“The promotion of Mrs. O’ Grady to principal of Bishop Verot Catholic High School is well-deserved,” said Bishop Dewane.  “Her dedication and commitment to a Christ-centered Catholic education, and to the students at the school demonstrate the qualities needed in today’s world.”

The distinguished career of O’Grady includes 25 years of experience at Bishop Verot having taught English, World History, and AP European History.  She served as dean for three years and assistant principal for six years.

“Bishop Verot Catholic High School is fortunate to have a leader of the caliber of Suzie O’Grady as its principal. Suzie brings exceptional leadership, exemplary educational experience and strong Catholic values and vision to this important work of the Diocese,” said Rev. John Belmonte, S.J., Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Venice.

O’Grady holds a B.A. in English, a master’s in public administration and an educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership. During her tenure, Bishop Verot received recognition as an Apple distinguished school, and O’Grady has also led her team through a rigorous accreditation process conducted by the Florida Catholic Conference this year.

“Bishop Verot has a proud tradition and continues to provide the highest quality Catholic education. I am grateful to Bishop Dewane for this honor and look forward to continuing to serve the Bishop Verot family that I have grown to love and respect,” O’Grady said.

The school was founded in 1962 and has served as a premier Catholic high school in Fort Myers for over five decades. Bishop Verot builds relationships centered on faith, learning, and leadership devoted to educating the whole person, utilizing innovative technologies, empowering students through collaborative experiences, and cultivating a spirit of service while grounded in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

New Superintendent begins, Diocese welcomes three new Principals

July is a time for transitioning within Catholic schools across the Diocese of Venice as the most recent academic year is over and a new one is quickly approaching.

On July 1, 2020, Jesuit Father John Belmonte assumed his role as the Superintendent of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Venice, a move announced in May 2020. Prior to coming to the Diocese of Venice, Father Belmonte was Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Joliet since 2010 and earlier served at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and St. Ignatius Preparatory High School, Chicago, Illinois.

The Diocesan Catholic Schools also recently announced three new principals effective in July.

Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice announced the return of Nicole Loseto as Principal, returning to the school where she taught for years and served as assistant principal before December 2019 when she took the top post at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring. She has 18 years of educational experience and holds two Masters’ degrees – one from Touro College in New York (Education and Special Education) and a second from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio (Educational Leadership).

Filling her vacancy at St. Catherine Catholic School is Dr. Christine Higgins, who arrives after serving at Cardinal Newman Catholic High School in West Palm Beach since 2004, first as a teacher and then as Principal for the past eight years. She has attended Florida Atlantic University where she holds a B.A. in Mathematics “Cum Laude,” a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She previously lived in Sebring as a child.

The final addition is Dr. Jack Chavez, who will be taking

over as Principal of Incarnation Catholic School in Sarasota. Chavez mostly recently served as Principal of St. Mary Nativity Catholic School in Joliet, Illinois. An historian, businessman and lifelong musician, he holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University, an MBA and an M.S.Ed from Purdue University and a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.

Welcome to all of the new leaders of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Venice!

New principal named for St. Catherine’s

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic


Nicole Loseto has dedicated her life to Catholic Education. Her latest opportunity has taken her to be the new Principal at St. Catherine Catholic School in Sebring. She was introduced to the school community on Dec. 12 after a Mass celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Father Jose Gonzalez, Pastor of St. Catherine Parish, noted that Loseto is a perfect fit for the position at the fast-growing school which opened in 2008 and is the only Catholic School in the Eastern Deanery. “God has sent us the right person for the right time.”

Loseto comes to St. Catherine’s from Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice where she served as Assistant Principal and teacher.

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, she also holds two Masters’ degrees – one from Touro College in New York (Education and Special Education) and a second from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio (Educational Leadership).

She has 16 years of educational experience having served as a teacher, director and now in her most recent assignment at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School where she will continue to assist the staff through this transitional period for both schools.

Diocese Director of Education Dr. Ben Moore, who made the announcement to the students, faculty and staff, said Loseto is dedicated to maintaining a positive and inclusive school environment where all students and staff feel supported and respected.

“She has proven to be a collaborative leader and has worked with a variety of individuals and teams to ensure that all programs are of high quality,” Dr. Moore added. “I am confident Mrs. Loseto will lead St. Catherine Catholic School to a bright and hopeful future.”

Having worked in banking and finance for 10 years, Loseto explained that she found her true calling in education and most specifically working in Catholic Schools in New York City.

“I heard of the need here at St. Catherine’s, and once I walked through the doors I knew this was the place I wanted to be,” she said. “My job is to work to make positive changes in the school and community going forward.”

The main goal for Loseto is to help the students develop a loving relationship with God and to be faithful members of the community while also providing a nurturing and safe environment for the children.”

“The priority it is to improve the quality of education, to help each student achieve their own academic excellence,” Loseto added. “This is to prepare our students for a lifetime of success.”

These goals will take time and teamwork, Loseto added, not just from the faculty and staff, but from the entire school community. “I know we can do this together.”