News: Diocesan Schools Superintendent Departs

April 11, 2019

Dr. Tracy Bonday

Des Moines diocesan Schools Superintendent Dr. Tracy Bonday will become the head of High School at Ursuline Academy in New Orleans on July 1, 2019. She has served the Diocese of Des Moines for the last four years. Her last day in Des Moines will be June 14.

Dr. Bonday brought to the Diocese of Des Moines a vision for continuous improvement and long-term planning to ensure a strong future for Catholic education in the diocese’s 17 schools that serve more than 6,000 students.

A hallmark of her four years in Iowa was her leadership and oversight of a strategic planning process for the diocese’s schools. She brought together experts in the education, business and parish communities who will collaborate to ensure the strategic plans for the Des Moines metro area schools and St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs are implemented.

She also positioned the Catholic schools to apply for national accreditation with Advanc-Ed, which requires continual improvement processes be in place.

“Heartfelt thanks are extended to Dr. Tracy Bonday for her four years of dedicated service for the Diocese of Des Moines as Superintendent of Schools,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “A lasting legacy she leaves us will be the inauguration of ‘The Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools.’ Her energetic guidance of the study has led us to the implementing of the plan, which will have a dramatic effect on our schools’ progress in critical areas in the years ahead. Our very best wishes are extended to Dr. Bonday as she continues her generous service to Catholic schools.”

Ursuline Academy of New Orleans, founded in 1727 and sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters, is a Catholic school for girls offering a strong educational environment from early childhood through a college preparatory secondary program. The school fosters spiritual formation, academic excellence and a lifelong commitment to service. The academy is on an 11.5-acre campus in Uptown New Orleans, serving children from toddler through 12th grade with about 625 students.

In her new position, Dr. Bonday will ensure that the Catholic character of the academy is developed and nurtured. She will guide campus ministry efforts including liturgies and services, will assist faculty and staff in integrating the mission in all aspects of the high school, develop a warm and nurturing environment consistent with Catholic and Ursuline charisms, recruit faculty and staff and maintain strong academic achievement with ample programming.

She will help students find the confidence to challenge themselves beyond academics. The school has strong STEM and arts programs and strives to be a leader in innovation.

A Florida native, Dr. Bonday holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in educational leadership, a law degree (Juris Doctor) from the University of Miami School of Law, and completed superintendent licensure courses at Drake University. She began serving the Diocese of Des Moines in June, 2015.

The Diocese of Des Moines will create a search committee to find a schools superintendent.