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In a selection process marked by prayer and professionalism, two candidates rose to the top for their experience, faith and hands-on leadership of teachers and students alike.

Esparza Named Principal

“I am excited to announce the hire of Amanda Esparza as Principal of Saint Mary’s Catholic School,” shared Father Michael Renninger, Pastor. “She was recommended to me and Kelly Lazzara of the Office of Catholic Schools without reservation by the Principal Search Committee. She is ready to hit the ground running to ensure continued progress in key areas such as academics, staff development and school safety,” he continued.

Prepared to Lead

Mrs. Esparza is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mary-Ann Remick Leadership Program in Alliance for Catholic Education. Prior to joining Saint Mary’s leadership last school year, she served as Academic Dean at the Benedictine Schools of Richmond after many years in the classroom.

Guided by the Spirit

Outside of her formal job role, Esparza has worked with colleagues to create a Sunshine Committee to support faculty and staff experiencing unexpected hardship. She also serves as Coach of Saint Mary’s Cheerleading team.

Mrs. Esparza is especially grateful to take the leadership reins after working with current Faculty and Staff to select the 2023-2024 school year Spiritual Theme inspired by 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Let all that you do be done in love.”

“Love and prayer have been the foundations of my leadership journey. I am certain that Christ’s love will guide us through a wonderful school year together” said Esparza.

Dahl Named Assistant Principal

Most recently, our new Assistant Principal served in the same capacity at Saint Gregory the Great, a JK-8 Catholic School in Virginia Beach. In addition to her numerous administrative functions, she also enjoyed being the faculty advisor of Student Government and Robotics.

A Return to Richmond

Having started her teaching career in Chesterfield County, Mrs. Dahl also served as a faculty member at our Lady of Lourdes in Henrico before moving to Virginia Beach. She is looking forward to coming back to Richmond.

Faith filled and Focused

Mrs. Dahl holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Connecticut, Teaching Certification from Trinity International University and a MS in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. In 2020, she received the St. John Bosco Award from the Diocese of Richmond for service.

What’s Next

Faculty and Staff will return to campus for Teacher Work Week on Monday, August 14th at which time they will have the opportunity to officially congratulate Mrs. Esparza on her promotion and to welcome Mrs. Dahl to the Monarch family.