The Diocese of Harrisburg announced the appointment of seven new administrators who will lead several Catholic schools beginning July 1. The new administrators, most of whom will serve as principals, bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and love for Catholic education to their positions.
The administrators joining the Catholic school system in the Diocese of Harrisburg are:
Kathleen Alton – Sacred Heart School, Lancaster
Kathleen Alton graduated from Sacred Heart School and is thrilled to return as its principal. After graduating from college, she taught first grade in Manheim Central School District. She earned her master’s degree in education from Millersville University. From there, she worked as a school counselor at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Md. For the past 20 years, Alton has served as a theology teacher and department chair at Lancaster Catholic High School.
Alton has a passion for Catholic education and is grateful to the families who sacrifice to make a Catholic education possible for their children. Catholic schools are unique because faculty and staff journey with students as they seek to understand the truth of who they are as children of God, created in God’s image as a gift to be a gift to others.
Alton enjoys reading, walking in nature, Bible study, bike-riding, March Madness, theater, and Facetiming with her 5-month-old grandson in Utah.
Ellen Amarante – Resurrection Catholic School, Lancaster
Ellen Amarante’s past professional experience spans a variety of roles in ministry and education. She served as a counselor and Director of Development in a pregnancy care center and as a Coordinator of Youth Ministry. She taught in the elementary setting, eventually taking a position as an Instructional Coach for RtII (Response to Instruction and Intervention – now known as Multi-tiered System of Support). Amarante then moved into higher education as an academic coach and the Director of Professional Education, supervising and instructing students preparing for teacher certification and networking with area schools and community services.
She has a master’s in educational administration from Scranton University, and is currently working toward a masters of counseling degree from Divine Mercy University.
Amarante is the wife of Deacon Gregory Amarante, the Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Life and Evangelization. They have two children, both married with children of their own. Their sixth grandchild was born in July.
Sister Mary Catherine Chapman, IHM – Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, Coal Township
Sister Mary Catherine Chapman, IHM, Ed.D., follows Sister Maureen Donati, IHM as principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Catholic School.
Born and raised in Levittown, Pa., she completed her degree in early childhood/elementary/secondary English education at Immaculata College. She taught for one year in a Catholic elementary school, and then entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After profession, Sister Mary Chapman continued teaching on the elementary level for twelve years.
She received a master’s degree in school administration from Rowan University, New Jersey. Sister Mary served as principal in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, taught in the education department at Immaculata University, and served as principal in the Richmond and Metuchen Dioceses. Sister then went on to earn her doctorate in education from Widener University in Pennsylvania.
As principal at Lourdes, Sister Mary is coming back to her roots since both her parents were from the coal region; her dad from Centralia and mom from Mount Carmel.
Tom DeAngelis, President – Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, Coal Township
Tom DeAngelis began this new leadership role as president of Lourdes on April 3, 2023.
In his role as president, DeAngelis works in collaboration with the school principal, Sister Mary Catherine Chapman, IHM, in providing overall direction for Lourdes Regional School. DeAngelis oversees institutional advancement, financial operations and obligations, and school facilities operations. The president reports to the Board of Directors and the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Harrisburg.
DeAngelis was the founder of MCS Management Consulting Services and the executive director of the Catholic Schools Initiative and St. Patrick Fund, working with donors to gain support and funding for a scholarship program for needy students and families. He also worked with Partners in Mission, a firm dedicated to leadership and advancement for Catholic education. He also served as Chair of the Bishop McDevitt Board of Education and he taught religion and art and coached football at Trinity and Lebanon Catholic high schools.
DeAngelis earned a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and an MBA in Finance from Penn State University. He and his wife, Maryann, are members of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey, where they currently reside.
Mary Lenzini Howe – St. Columba School, Bloomsburg
Mary Lenzini Howe has been a parishioner of St. Columba Parish since 1957 and is a graduate of St. Columba School.
She recently retired from a 10-year position as Commonwealth University’s (Bloomsburg Campus) Director of the Zeigler Institute for Professional Development (ZIPD) Program in the Zeigler College of Business.
Howe earned a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater from New York University.
Her career has traversed several business industries in leadership positions, including VPHR and Marketing for Bloomsburg Health System; mayor and council member of the Town of Bloomsburg; proprietor of La Groceria Italian Deli; and professional vocalist.
She also serves in several St. Columba Parish ministries, including as a member of the parish finance committee, cantor, lector, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. She has also served as a volunteer leader in the RCIA, Cursillo, and True Colors programs in the Harrisburg Diocese.
Howe celebrates 38 years of marriage with her husband, Michael. They have two children and six grandchildren.
Jesse Read – St. Margaret Mary School, Harrisburg
Jesse Read is the new principal of St. Margaret Mary School in Harrisburg.
He joined the Catholic Church just over ten years ago, and was Confirmed on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Read received a degree in education from Shippensburg University and completed his Administrative Certification through Immaculata University. He accepted his first teaching position in a Catholic school with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the summer of 2013. Since then, he has served in the Diocese of Harrisburg as a teacher and principal for seven years, and was a principal in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for two years.
He and his wife and daughter moved to the Harrisburg area from Littlestown this summer as he began his new position as principal at St. Margaret Mary School.
Thelma Reibsome, Interim Principal – Corpus Christi School, Chambersburg
Thelma Reibsome was called to be interim principal of Corpus Christi Catholic School in Chambersburg in April of 2023, upon the departure of the previous principal. Reibsome spent the last six years at Corpus Christi as the physical education teacher and athletic director. She has served on the school’s Strategic Planning Committee and Safety Committee. Prior to her career in education Reibsome was the director of several athletic facilities, overseeing hundreds of student athletes as well as professional athletes. Reibsome holds a master’s in education from the University of Miami, a bachelor’s degree from Lock Haven University and completed her teacher education program at Wilson College. Reibsome and her family are members of St. Ann Parish in Hagerstown, Md.
John Scimeca – Holy Trinity Catholic School, York
John Scimeca comes to the Diocese of Harrisburg after seven years at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama.
Scimeca earned a degree in history and international relations from Tulane University and a master’s in education from the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). After teaching middle school social studies and religion in Mobile, Alabama, he spent a year and a half in Chile, where he taught English as a foreign language at all levels from pre-K to high school. He earned a certificate in English as a New Language (ENL) instruction from Notre Dame during this time.
Scimeca is a native of Oklahoma City and is a lifelong product of Catholic education, graduating from Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School after 10 years at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for grade school.
Scimeca met his wife, Kate, while both were members of Notre Dame’s ACE program. She is a native of York and grew up as a parishioner at St. Joseph Parish in Dallastown. They have been married for seven years and have three children.