Alumna named superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Peoria

December 13, 2012

By Steven Johnson ‘13

Dr. Sharon Weiss MA ’93 started a new job this summer when she assumed the position of superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. The former principal at St. Patrick’s grade school in Washington, Ill., Weiss will now oversee the diocese’s five high schools, 37 elementary schools and two academies spread throughout central Illinois.

A counselor and teacher at Peoria Notre Dame High School from 1977-2003, Weiss received her masters from the College of Education and Health Sciences in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling, a program that prepare professional counselors to work with diverse populations in a variety of educational fields. Weiss said her time at Bradley was well spent in preparing her for a profession in school administration.

“There is not a doubt in my mind that I would not be in administration without my degree from Bradley University,” she said. “There are not enough words to describe how instrumental my counseling background has been in my leadership roles. The basic counseling skills of listening, conflict management, assessment and evaluation and group dynamics are used on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis as a leader.”

Weiss cited the college’s faculty as some of her mentors who provided Weiss with the confidence and support needed to pursue her graduate degree and later her doctorate in educational administration. She began working as superintendent on July 1 and said that she looks forward to the new challenges that await her in her new position.

“I have served for 34 years in Catholic education as a teacher, counselor and principal,” she said. “Being the principal of a pre-K through 8th grade building has given me the knowledge and skills to work in the early childhood and primary, intermediate and junior high environment. My teaching and counseling years were spent in the high school learning environment.”

Weiss has also set a couple of goals to ensure she does the best job she can do while working as superintendent.

“My main goal is to serve. It is an honor to serve Bishop Daniel Jenky and to take his vision for our schools and to form a plan of action that will accomplish this vision and take us to another level needed for the future,” she said. “My second goal is to learn. From the time I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Learning is life-long and I will never stop. It is both a privilege and an opportunity.”