President’s Perspective: Looking to the Future at MCS

May 25, 2016

Dear Mater Christi Families:

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Mater Christi for the second time as I continue to listen, learn, observe, and prepare to serve as president beginning on July 5. I want to thank you for the warm reception I received, and I am especially grateful for the welcome reception last Thursday when I had the opportunity to meet many of you.

During the reception, I shared with those of you in attendance that I am committed to working in partnership with the entire community to ensure that Mater Christi is a special place that is student-centered, faith-centered, and committed to academic innovation and excellence so that our graduates are not just prepared for high school and college, but are centered in and committed to living out Mercy values in their daily lives.

During my visit, I also had the opportunity to meet with the Board of Trustees and learn more about the current state of the school as we plan for the upcoming academic year and beyond. During this meeting, we discussed parental concerns regarding staffing of the school for the upcoming year. In particular, over the past several weeks some of you have communicated concerns with the board, current school leadership, and me about the nurse position being reduced to part-time.

During our discussion, I expressed concern over the safety and security of the elementary school building given the lack of a school office and administrative presence in that building. During our discussion, I did inform the Board of Trustees that Principal Anthony Fontana’s office will be moved to the elementary building and my office will remain in the middle school building. I also proposed that we maintain the nurse position as full-time but adjust some of the responsibilities to include providing some administrative support functions to ensure the safety and security of our elementary building. The board was unanimous in their support of these proposals.

Adjustments or reductions in staffing are very difficult but are never done without deliberate and thoughtful reflection. Moreover, these changes are often needed in order to balance a school’s budget and ensure its short and long-term sustainability and viability, while maintaining the integrity of the core mission of the school. All staffing levels at Mater Christi are dependent on enrollment, fundraising, and the overall financial health of the school.

To date, 195 students are fully registered for the 2016-2017 academic year. However, we currently have 50 students who are not fully registered. If you have not fully registered your child(ren), I ask that you complete the necessary paperwork and submit the registration fee as soon as possible so that we have solid enrollment numbers for budgeting purposes. In addition, fundraising during the past year has fallen short of projections, and it is clear that new approaches need to be put in place to both solicit and secure financial support for Mater Christi with current families, alumni, and the larger community. In the future, I will be communicating more about our current financial position, as well as the funding needed to advance strategic objectives and maintain a strong Mater Christi for years to come. My past experience has consistently proven that when all members of a school community contribute their time, talent and treasure, sustainability and viability are guaranteed.

As I prepare to become president of Mater Christi, I ask for your continued support, patience, and prayer. Please know your input and feedback is welcomed and encouraged. As we look to the future, I assure you that I am committed to proactive communication, transparency and accountability. In the coming weeks, I will begin communicating with you on a regular basis, as well as soliciting input and ideas from you. I will be returning to Burlington for the final week of school and the first week of summer vacation before I begin full-time on July 5. In the meantime, if you should have any questions or would like to share any thoughts, you may reach me at

I am grateful to be joining your community, and I look forward to working in partnership with you to ensure the continued success of Mater Christi. As I stated in my introductory letter, I am confident that together we can accomplish much as we work in partnership to ensure that each student is loved and empowered to reach their highest potential in body, mind, and spirit today, tomorrow, and forever.


Patrick Lofton, Ed.S