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Saginaw Catholic Diocese investing more in school district

The Saginaw Catholic Diocese is making a major investment into their school district.
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - The Saginaw Catholic Diocese making a major investment into their school district.

After years of closing schools, the Dioceses hopes this could be a step in the right direction.

Bishop Robert Gruss is on a mission to grow and expand schools in the Saginaw Catholic Diocese.

The initiative is called “Our Catholic Schools: Centered in Christ, Committed to Excellence.”

It will focus on four key areas.

“Part of this whole new initiative is really to take a look at our Catholic identity, enrollment, marketing, and the governance of our catholic schools so that we as a total diocese that can really lift up our Catholic schools. Across the Diocese,” Gruss said.

The Diocese has 12 schools, including three high schools, with more than 2,000 students.

To support the growth initiative, Bishop Gruss will expand the Catholic school office and create two new positions.

For Krista Willertz, principal of All Saints Middle and High School in Bay City, the initiative is very exciting.

“It means that we can draw more students in maybe some students who couldn’t afford a Catholic education and it should be available to everyone that opportunity. And so, it means that our teachers can get a little bit better salary, which is wonderful, and it helps us to attract those young up and coming teachers from college,” Willertz said.

The initiative is in its early stages, but the diocese plans to appoint a council to support the office of Catholic schools. That body will work in collaboration with school boards and committees to address retention and recruitment of school staff and faculty.

“We have a lot of wonderful, dedicated staff, and they have been there for sometimes 2030 years and to know that their time and energy and work is appreciated with a little bit of boost in salary, is great,” Willertz said.

“I am a strong proponent of Catholic education because I see it firsthand. The difference that it makes in the lives of our young people. So, I want all of our people to know that I’m a strong supporter for our Catholic schools all across the diocese and we’re going to do everything we can to lift them up and help them succeed and thrive,” Gruss said.