Our Lady of Fatima Names New Principal for 2021-22 School Year

photo: contributed

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy (OLFCA) in Wilton has announced that a new principal, Mary Ann Fleming, will be in place for the start of school this fall.

The announcement follows recent news that Stanley Steele, principal for the last five years, is stepping down from the top post at the school, which serves students in pre-K through eighth grade.

Fleming hails from Saint Joseph School in Danbury, another Catholic school serving pre-K through eighth grade, where she was the assistant principal. Her 15-year teaching career includes stints as a third-grade teacher and a middle school social studies and English teacher, according to a statement issued by Fleming.

As assistant principal, Fleming said her role included “day-to-day operations of the school including communicating with faculty and parents, performing classroom observations and evaluations, scheduling, and acting as a liaison between the principal and the faculty.”

According to the statement, Fleming will bring experience to her new principal’s role in terms of working with budgets, strategic planning, and pandemic operations, as well as familiarity with referrals for special education, PPT’s, and accommodation plans.

In May 2021, Fleming earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Fordham University, with a focus on Catholic school administration.

Responding to an email from GMW about her plans and priorities for OLFCA, Fleming said, “I know [OLFCA] is a special place. I look forward to meeting the faculty and families over the next few weeks, and as I get to know them, we can work together to ensure that the mission of OLFCA is being carried out.”

She said she believes that keeping the traditions of the school while discovering new ways to share Christian values with the community will help fulfill the school’s motto, “Service Above Self.”

Fr. Reggie Norman, pastor of the parish at Our Lady of Fatima church and vice chair of the OLFCA board of directors, told GMW he thought the school was fortunate to find Fleming, and said he is looking forward to working with her.

“We are elated that Mrs. Fleming accepted the position,” Norman said. “Her energy and vision align with the Fatima values and we will only grow better with her leadership.”

The school board’s chair, Kevin Vallerie, could not be reached on vacation for comment, but he posted the news about Fleming on the school’s Facebook page.

The principal of Saint Joseph School, Louis F. Howe, Jr., even chimed in to support Fleming in her new role. He wrote on OLFCA’s Facebook page, “I cannot be more proud of Mrs. Fleming’s appointment as principal of your school. I worked with her as Assistant Principal for 2 years and you are getting a real gem. We will miss her greatly, but I know she will serve your community as a great leader.”

Fleming’s statement concluded with her optimism for the future of OLFCA.

“It is my hope that my faith-filled experience will allow me to lead Our Lady of Fatima on the path of continued growth and prosperity. With the support of the Fatima Family and the promise of a bright future, I feel blessed, honored, and ready to forge ahead with the exciting possibilities that await our school. In collaboration with Father Reggie, the Board of Directors, and the whole community, I look forward to beginning this new chapter and meeting all of the students, faculty, and families of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy!”

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