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Catholic leadership dedicated to building strong foundation of faith for students

Published: August 17, 2018   


Janet Edgar

St. John School, Hot Springs

• Hometown: Hot Springs

• Education: University of Central Arkansas, bachelor’s degree in elementary education, 1996; currently working on master’s degree in leadership

• Educational experience: St. John School teacher for 10 years

• Educational philosophy: I believe every child can learn in the right environment with the necessary tools of academics, love and patience.

• Benefits of Catholic education: I know that children who receive a Catholic education are nurtured in their faith in Christ and bloom in a loving environment.

• Favorite saint and favorite Scripture: St. John the Baptist, of course. My favorite Scripture is Philippians 4:13.

• Hobbies: I love to read and play volleyball.


Nancy Handloser

Our Lady of the Holy Souls, Little Rock

• Hometown: Little Rock

• Education: University of Arkansas at Little Rock, bachelor’s degree in education, 1989; master’s degree in educational administration and supervision, 2003

• Educational experience: Our Lady of the Holy Souls School, teacher, 1989-1994 and 1999-2003 and assistant principal, 2003-2018; The Cathedral School, Little Rock, teacher and tutor, 1994-1999

• Educational philosophy: As educators I believe it is our responsibility to first know our students. As Catholic educators that also means nurturing our students in their relationship with God. When we know them as individuals, we can begin to teach them. By recognizing the differences of our learners we can truly teach the whole child.

• Benefits of Catholic education: I believe the main benefit of Catholic education is that we are able to bring God into everything we do. Our teachers make the commitment to teach in our schools because we are able to incorporate faith and values into the daily academic lessons/standards. We have high expectations for both learning and behavior.

• Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 40: 28-31 “Do you not know or have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”

• Hobbies: Since I became a mother very late in life, my hobbies now (very much) revolve around my 6-year-old son. Currently he is loving baseball and swimming. We live outside of Little Rock on a small piece of land with a little lake, so I often say my hobby is going to the lake! I treasure spending my “free time” with my family.


John Rocha

Ozark Catholic Academy, Tontitown

• Hometown: Born at Camp Pendleton, Calif., but moved to Houston nine months later 

• Education: University of Dallas, bachelor’s degree in politics, 1993; master’s degree in liberal arts with a specialization in literature, University of St. Thomas, Houston

• Educational experience: teacher for more than 20 years in lower, middle and high school classrooms, adjunct professor of literature at the University of St. Thomas for four years; academic director, Center for the American Idea; director of development, Western Academy, Houston, 2009-2016. In the fall 2016, Rocha was hired to serve as the founding president and head of school of Ozark Catholic Academy.

• Educational philosophy: I want teachers to be open to learning and I want to imbue students with this same philosophy. This is living out the basis of the teaching virtue of Docilitas, that allows us to see the fullness of reality as Catholic Christians in the world. If teachers have a love of learning, a sense of professional excellence in their vocation and a central focus of their lives being their family, then students witness this. We want to educate the whole person.

• Benefits of Catholic education: A Catholic education assists parents in continuing the formation of their children as they grow in their relationship with God, so they can live out their vocation as God has called them to do.

• Favorite saint: St. Josemaria Escriva

• Hobbies: I enjoy reading, fishing with my sons and seeing great movies with my wife, Donna.


Dr. David Wright

Subiaco Academy

• Hometown: Goshen, N.Y.

• Education: George Washington University, Washington, D.C., doctorate in educational administration, 2013; master’s degree, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; bachelor’s degree, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, N.Y. 

• Educational experience: Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa., assistant vice president, 32 years

• Educational philosophy: To reach full potential, students must know that teachers and adult figures at the school care deeply about them, and they should be able to use their strengths and talents to maximize their education.

• Benefits of Catholic education: Learning in a faith-based environment develops several 21st century skills that will benefit the student in the long-term. Exploring values, beliefs and spiritual life can ground a student and lead to a well-adjusted future.

• Favorite saint: St. Benedict

• Hobbies: I run half marathons and enjoy hiking, biking, boating and being in the great outdoors.

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