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​Incarnate Word High School names Dr. Anna Downey new principal

July 11, 2019 | posted by University of the Incarnate Word

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Incarnate Word High School names Dr. Anna Downey new principal

With the unanimous approval by the search committee, board of directors and the Ministry Council of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Dr. Anna Downey has been named the new principal at Incarnate Word High School (IWHS). Dr. Downey comes to IWHS with 26 years of Catholic high school education experience as an administrator and English teacher in Cincinnati. The appointment comes after an extensive national search conducted by Boston-based Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions, the nation’s leading advancement and leadership firm devoted exclusively to Catholic education, and the Incarnate Word High School Search Committee.

“We are so very proud to welcome a transformational leader like Dr. Anna Downey to our Incarnate Word High School family,” says Dr. Fernando Lopez, chairman of the IWHS board. “Dr. Downey has extensive experience integrating technology into the Catholic high school curriculum and leading instructional teams to build a successful action plan. She is a consensus builder and the fact that she was unanimously endorsed by all of the stakeholders speaks volumes about what we think of her as an educator and a leader. We would also like to thank our Interim Principal David Udovich for his hard work and dedication to maintaining the level of excellence our parents and students have come to expect at Incarnate Word.”

“Home. Home is a word that means the world to me,” says Downey. “The interactions I had within my first 24 hours in San Antonio made me feel comfortable, so alive. Then I spent a day and a half at Incarnate Word High School with many stakeholders -- students, faculty/staff, the Sisters, parents and alumnae, and I knew almost immediately that I found my new home. I am extremely blessed and privileged to serve as the new principal of Incarnate Word High School and look forward to meeting everyone as we work together to create a learning community the young women want and need to be successful in this ever-changing world. I am excited to be a part of a collaborative, Catholic, community-based approach to learning, where we help our students to impact the world by thinking globally and acting locally.”

Downey is a graduate of the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati. She earned her master’s degree in Education at Jones International University and a doctorate in Education at Union Institute & University. Downey spent 22 years as an administrator and teacher at the all-girls Seton High School and the past four years teaching at Roger Bacon High School, both in Cincinnati. The superintendent of Catholic Schools in Cincinnati describes her as “innovative” and “passionate about women’s Catholic education.” In 2018, the University of Cincinnati Economics Center recognized Downey as high school Educator of the Year out of a cohort of 165 teachers from parochial and public schools who participated in their program.

The appointment of the new principal is particularly timely for the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, who founded the high school, as it comes in this their 150th anniversary Jubilee year. Sister Margaret Snyder, CCVI, says, “I am grateful that the search firm led us to Dr. Downey and that we seem to have such a good fit. The energy, passion and commitment to education of Dr. Downey is amazing. She looks at preparing students for 2030 when 70 percent of the jobs available to them do not exist today. Collaboration, building partnerships and meaningful relationships along with creating a learning hub for everyone -- faculty, parents, alums included -- is what we need in today’s world. I look forward to watching Dr. Downey make God’s love visible as she goes about her role as principal of Incarnate Word High School!”

Dr. Downey took over as principal of IWHS on July 1.