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Q & A With Middle States Commissioner, Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott

By March 12, 2019December 18th, 2021No Comments
Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., Ph.D, is Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent of Secondary Schools at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools. Sister Maureen has more than 30 years of experience in Catholic education, having served as teacher, principal and superintendent. She is a professional member of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE). She earned her undergraduate degree from Immaculata University and attended West Chester University for her master’s degree. Sister Maureen went on to earn her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University.

Q. How did you become involved with Middle States?

A. I have served in secondary and elementary education for more than 30 years. Each school where I’ve worked has been accredited by Middle States. Through the years, as Middle States has grown and evolved, protocols have also developed to respond to the self-study process and need for strategic planning and goal setting. I’ve been impressed by that.

Q. What do you see as one of the main benefits of Middle States accreditation?

A. The process allows schools to review in a very intentional way critical areas such as governance, health and safety and academic programs. Surveys are used to measure current effectiveness while charting a plan for the future. I think that guiding schools through this process and coming out on the other side with a strategic plan is a key benefit of working with Middle States.

Q. How did you get your start in education?

A. I became enthralled with education from the age of 6, when I was in the first grade and received a box of letters and numbers to learn from. I knew very early on that I wanted to spend my life engaged in the learning process and inspiring others to feel the transformative power a good education can provide.

Q. What do you enjoy most about working in education?

A. School communities are sacred places for teaching and learning. Having the privilege of working on behalf of schools is a sacred trust. I appreciate that responsibility and take it very seriously.

Q. What is your favorite movie of all time?

A. Almost anything British. I enjoyed The Queen, the 2006 film with Helen Mirren about the passing of Princess Diana, and the classic 1962 film with Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia.

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