Kathleen Finnigan is Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools new superintendent

After a four month search for a new Superintendent of Schools, the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees appointed Kathleen Finnigan as its new Superintendent.

Since February 2020, Kathleen has been Acting Superintendent for the division and has been instrumental in navigating them through the COVID-19 pandemic – school closures, at-home learning and school re-entry of in-person learning, as well as the new funding model from Alberta Education.

Kathleen has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta, a Master of Education from San Diego State University and is currently working on a Doctorate of Education specializing in K-12 education leadership through the University of Calgary. 

Kathleen grew up and graduated in Delburne, a small town east of Red Deer. She comes from a large farming family. She has five sisters and one brother. 

One of Kathleen’s core values is community and the sense of connection it brings among people. From a young age, she was taught the importance of community, from her parents who were role models of servant leadership within their work in Delburne, Central Alberta and on the provincial scene.

She believes in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” and is looking forward to working in-team to enhance the Red Deer Catholic community whereby students will continue to be the center of all decisions. Kathleen and her husband, Terry, have four boys, all educated in Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

With over 34 years of experience as a Catholic educator within the Division, she has held various roles including teacher, counsellor, school administrator and senior administrator. She has been part of five different school communities in Red Deer including, St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, Maryview School, Holy Family School, St. Martin de Porres School and St. Patrick’s Community School. Her first principalship was at St. Martin de Porres School where she worked collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders to develop the first fine arts school in Central Alberta.

For the past nine years, she has been a member of a senior leadership team holding the positions of Associate Superintendent of Inclusive Learning, Associate Superintendent of Personnel and Acting Superintendent of Schools. Kathleen is looking forward to continuing to foster gospel-centred school communities of hope within the division through her connections with staff and stakeholders. She is also an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church as proclaimer, eucharistic minister and children’s liturgy teacher. 

Over the years, Kathleen has won many notable awards including Women of Excellence for Central Alberta (2016), Canada’s Outstanding Principal (2010), Alberta’s Excellence in Teaching Semi-Finalist (2009), Leadership Award from the Council of School Administrators (2001) and Health and Physical Education Award through the HPEC Council (1989).

As per the Education Act, the Minister of Education approves all Superintendent hires and contracts. At the October 27 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees will vote on a motion to seek the approval of the Minister of Education to appoint Kathleen Finnigan as Superintendent of Schools.