For Immediate Release
15 September 2010

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – September 15, 2010 – New principals are leading one Diocesan Catholic High School, one parish-run high school and two elementary schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre this year. 

High Schools:

McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Riverhead.  Carl Semmler is the new principal for McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School.  Previously, Semmler served as an associate superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, overseeing 16 to 22 elementary schools.  He was responsible for strategic planning and directed training for principals in the diocesan schools.  Prior to that, he taught religion for 11 years at Archbishop Molloy High School, Queens, where he was also director of campus ministry and was involved in overseeing professional development, evaluation and supervision of faculty. 

St. Mary’s College Preparatory High School, Manhasset.  Grace M. Cavallo has been appointed president of Saint Mary’s College Preparatory High School and Jonathan D. Kramer has been appointed principal.  Rev. Msgr. John J. McCann, pastor stated, “With the appointment of Grace Cavallo as president, St. Mary’s High School joins the majority of Catholic high schools in the U.S. with the president/principal form of governance.  The president’s primary focus will be in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, public relations and the school board whereas the principal is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school.  The principal is responsible to the president and the president to the pastor.”

St. Patrick’s Elementary School, Smithtown.  Rita Swift is the new principal for St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Smithtown.  Last year, Swift was the principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, Massapequa Park.  A Queens native, Swift has served in a number of schools in the diocese from Malverne to Montauk.  Previously, she served as a principal of an elementary school in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  Swift is a graduate of Molloy College and earned her Master’s degree at Southampton College.

“We begin this school year with mixed emotions.  On the one hand, there is the excitement of the new school year, with all the promises and possibilities it holds, the students returning, and everyone ready for the adventure that lies ahead,” said Swift.  “But on the other hand, we are grieving the loss of Eileen Sadicario, a wonderful person who was such an important part of the fabric of St. Patrick School for so many years.  It will be a good school year and I am blessed to be part of this community.”
Notre Dame Elementary School, New Hyde Park.  Caryn Durkin is the new principal of Notre Dame Elementary School, New Hyde Park.  Most recently, Durkin was the assistant principal at Corpus Christi School, Mineola.  Durkin has been a teacher and administrator for more than thirty years.  She began teaching at St. Gregory the Great school, Bellerose.  She also taught at St. Vincent dePaul school, Elmont.

While at Corpus Christi, Durkin also taught grades six, seven and eight English Language Arts and served as chair of the junior high department.  At Corpus Christi, Durkin was to be the chair of the Middle States Accreditation Committee.  At Notre Dame School, she served as chair of the Middle States Accreditation Committee.  Durkin possesses a Master's degree in School Counseling and has a Educational Leadership from St. John's University.


About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 133 parishes in 115 towns.  Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions.  There are 61 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese.  Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice.  In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (12/08).

CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
                 Director of Communications
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