The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has a new Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Michael LaFever will succeed Sister Carol Cimino, who is retiring. He will assume the leadership post on June 29.
Michael LaFever has an impressive resume. He's been a school teacher, principal and a superintendent of schools for two public districts. He was an administrator at Trocaire College and most recently served as principal and then president of St. Benedict School in Eggertsville. It was there that LaFever said he began thinking about the importance of sustainability.
"I created, with the pastor at St. Benedict's, the position of president," LaFever said, "where I was tryingt o create an endowment for the school and work on that sustainability for the school."
When Cimino announced her retirement, LaFever said he began thinking about how he could help all students attending Catholic schools in the diocese. Since becoming principal in 2015, LaFever was a driving force in growing student enrollment at St. Benedict School by 50 percent. He said the school has risen the bar when it comes to academic excellence.
"In terms of marketing our school, that's been the emphasis for the last few years," he said, "that we are a strong academic school and we reallt prepare students well for high school."
Still, LaFever will begin his tenure as Catholic superintendent facing challenges. People are having fewer children. And that means, he said, there is more competition when children reach school age.
"When you're competing with a tax-based public school system versus a private Catholic school education where you have tuition involved, that's a tough decision for a lot of families in terms of affordablity," LaFever said.
Bishop Richard Malone said LaFever's wealth of experience in education will serve him well in the superintendent's role.