Diocesan school leaders set to retire, search underway for new superintendent

Mary Liz Ivins, standing at right, was chosen to lead the search committee for a new diocesan superintendent. Here, Ivins addresses committee members during a Nov. 6 gathering in the Diocesan Chancery. Katie Cerni photo


Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., announced Nov. 8 that a nationwide search for a new diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools is underway. The new superintendent will succeed JoAnn Tier, who will retire June 30.

“She has done an outstanding job overseeing our Catholic schools and their programs for many years,” Bishop O’Connell said of Tier.  “Finding her replacement will be no easy task.”

“I have appointed a diocesan-wide search committee, chaired by Ms. Mary Liz Ivins, former longtime principal and president of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, and have retained the services of Carney Sandoe, a search firm based in Boston to assist in this important process,” said Bishop O’Connell.

Prior to being named superintendent 11 years ago, Tier worked in the Department of Catholic Schools in a variety of positions since 2000 including as associate director for Catholic Schools, chairman of the N.J. Catholic Schools Government Programs, chairman of the N.J. Catholic Schools Marketing Council and coordinator for the Catholic Urban Schools Program. She is also the moderator of the Diocesan PTA and has served on various committees including Georgian Court University’s School of Education Advisory Committee and on AdvancED External Review Teams. Prior to working in the Chancery, Tier was principal for 10 years in All Saints School, Burlington, the first lay principal to hold that position.

Tier, who is a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown, holds a master’s degree in administration, supervision and curriculum planning from Georgian Court University, Lakewood.

In addition to Tier’s retirement, Dr. Margaret Boland has also announced her intention to retire from her full-time position as associate superintendent in the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools in June. Prior to that, Dr. Boland will serve in a part-time role beginning Jan. 1.

Before arriving to the Diocese 24 years ago, Boland’s experience in education included working in the New York City public schools for 12 years at both the high school and junior high school levels and as a director of guidance. When she relocated to Toms River, she began teaching eighth grade math and science in St. Joseph School, Toms River, where her son attended. She also developed the algebra and pre-algebra program for eighth grade students in conjunction with Donovan Catholic High School.

In 1993, she was named principal of St. Benedict School, Holmdel, and two years later she assumed the role of associate superintendent for the Diocese.

Boland, a member of St. Luke Parish, Toms River,  holds a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in math, religious studies and philosophy from Notre Dame College, Staten Island, N.Y.; a master’s degree in education leadership and guidance and counseling from Kean University, Union, and she earned a doctorate degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange.

In 2004, she participated in a roundtable educational research program at Oxford, England, and over the years, she has presented at National Catholic Educational Association conventions and in other dioceses on leadership and assessment. She has also served on a national committee that designed the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Since 1995, Boland has guided the development of subject curriculum. In 1995, she worked with a technology committee to implement email in all schools in the Diocese.

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