Lancaster, NY – On March 16, 2020, St. Mary’s High School closed its physical building and transitioned to distance learning when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force. Since that time, the health and safety of every single one of the students, faculty, staff, and administration members has been of the highest priority.
Now, as schools look to transition back to in-classroom learning and some sense of normalcy, St. Mary’s High School has been doing its due diligence to facilitate this transition as safely and efficiently as possible. To help with this transition, St. Mary’s has composed an advisory board of alumni, community and industry leaders, who will lend their expertise and guidance in several different important areas, in regards to the steps the school needs to take to prepare for a safe reopening. This advisory board consists of:
- Michael Aquino ‘81 – Chief Operating Officer A2Z Diagnostics
- Aquino practices out of New Jersey, and his labs have served as testing sites for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. His direct experience with testing and the ever-changing trends of the virus itself will be beneficial to the advisory board.
- LuAnne Brown ‘77, RN – CEO Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network
- Brown also has 16 years of experience with Kaleida Health and Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as VP and Chief Nursing Officer. With so much experience as a nurse, Brown can help spot potential trouble zones and solutions to those problem areas. As a current member of the St. Mary’s High School Board of Trustees, she will be invaluable in creating proper health policies for our students.
- Glenn Butler – VP of Personal Touch Food Services, Inc.
- Butler brings with him nearly 40 years of experience in the food industry and is a member of the NYS Restaurant Association and Erie County School Nutrition Association. St. Mary’s is a Personal Touch Food Services, Inc. client, so Butler has agreed to work with the school to ensure students are still able to receive nutritious breakfast and lunches in a safe and healthy environment.
- Dennis DePerro, Ed.D – President of St. Bonaventure University
- DePerro has over 35 years of experience in college administration. St. Mary’s High School will work closely with Dr. DePerro to see how reopening is being handled on a collegiate level to emulate the policies deemed appropriate.
- Bryan Fiume ‘01 – Associate Deputy Comptroller of Erie County/Erie County Legislature’s Chief of Staff for the Republican Caucus
- From 2008 to 2011, Fiume served as the Erie County Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was responsible for managing the county’s relationships with other governments, particularly at the state level. Fiume is clearly very familiar with public policy at the state and county levels, which is key in moving forward to prepare the building and student/group behavior for reopening.
- William Karn – Lancaster Chief of Police
- Karn has been a member of the Lancaster Police Department for the past 23 years. It is key to have local law enforcement involved with the school’s reopening planning in order to ensure compliance to all rules and regulations and to enforce said rules and regulations.
- Michael McCartney – CEO and Owner of Respiratory Services of WNY
- Respiratory Services of WNY is one of the local leaders in the sales and distribution of durable medical equipment and mobility supplies for all ages and needs. McCartney is also a graduate of the Respiratory Therapy Program. Respiratory therapy is clearly critical with this type of virus, so having an expert in this area on the advisory board in invaluable.
- Dean Ramierez, Ed. D – Principal of Iroquois High School
- All schools in the area will be facing the same concerns upon reopening, and each will have to handle the situation slightly differently based on the size of the school building itself, the number of students, etc. It will be incredibly beneficial to work with a neighboring public school official and current St. Mary’s High School board member to collaborate on any potential plans.
- John Ulatowski ‘71, M.D., Ph. D., MBA – VP and Executive Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International Leadership Team and Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
- Johns Hopkins is a worldwide leading medical authority on the spread of COVID-19, providing research and timely, expert information. As one of the leading names in medicine in the world, Dr. John Ulatowski specializes in the study of the brain and is developing new methods of perioperative and periprocedural care, which could optimize patient safety in the future.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have a diverse network of intelligent, experienced professionals who care deeply about St. Mary’s High School and the quality of education our students receive,” said Kevin Kelleher, St. Mary’s High School’s Head of School. “We plan to leverage the wealth of knowledge each of these individuals brings to the advisory board and allow them to do just that – advise us on the best policies and practices we need to implement in order to open the school to our nearly 400 students in the safest, best way possible come September.”
Founded in 1904, St. Mary’s High School has been preparing its students to achieve success for 116 years. St. Mary’s High School is the leading Catholic, co-ed college preparatory school in Western New York—a beacon of faith, excellence, achievement, and inspiration.