ST. LOUIS — Maggie Sullivan, an administrator at St. Joseph’s Academy in Frontenac, will become the first president of the newly independent Rosati-Kain Academy.
Sullivan starts her new role at the Catholic girls’ high school on May 1. She is currently the assistant principal of mission at St. Joseph’s Academy.
“Rosati’s place in the city, the most diverse of all the all-girls schools, centered in the middle of the most important institutions in the city, the opportunity for this school to empower women through Catholic values ... was an opportunity I couldn’t resist,” Sullivan said.
Rosati-Kain Academy will open in the fall as an independent school after operating under the Archdiocese of St. Louis for 112 years. Last September, archdiocesan leaders announced they would close Rosati-Kain and St. Mary’s high schools as part of the “All Things New” downsizing plan for parishes and schools.
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Supporters at both schools scrambled to raise money and secure new religious sponsors to remain open as independent Catholic schools.
Rosati-Kain Academy will lease the school, on Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End, from the archdiocese. The school will be sponsored by St. Joseph Educational Ministries, which also oversees St. Joseph’s Academy and Fontbonne University. Sullivan follows Elizabeth Ann Goodwin in leading Rosati-Kain.
A native of St. Louis, Sullivan graduated from St. Joseph’s in 1993, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Washington University. She expects to complete her doctorate in educational leadership this year from Vanderbilt University.
Sullivan started her career as a history teacher and has taught at Whitfield School and Clayton and University City high schools, along with St. Louis Community College and Washington University. She has also worked at schools in Colorado and Florida.
The first challenge at Rosati-Kain will be building enrollment and funding back to pre-pandemic levels. The short-term plan calls for raising $10 million for operations and scholarships at the school, where about 80% of students receive financial aid.
Rosati-Kain was one of the first St. Louis high schools to integrate in 1947, and diversity remains a priority. More than half of the current student body is Black or Hispanic.
Sullivan said she is confident that the school has a promising future.
“We have a team of women that are innovative, forward-thinking, powerful leaders that are going to really rebuild this school to be better than ever,” Sullivan said.