Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 7, 1999
New Secretary For Education Looks Ahead
BY KATHI STEARNS
ATLANTA--Msgr. Terry Young begins his tenure as Secretary for Education Jan. 7. He succeeds Bertha Martin who resigned effective Dec. 31.
Martin had served from Feb. 1, 1996 to Dec. 31, 1998 during which time funds were raised through a Building the Church of Tomorrow Capital Campaign for a number of projects, including building new Catholic grade schools and high schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Bertha did a wonderful job with the financial planning for these new schools, said Msgr. Young. During her tenure she solved some key issues regarding the funding of Catholic schools and laid a foundation upon which this office can build.
Msgr. Young said as Secretary for Education he will examine and review the structure of the archdiocesan school system to see how it will incorporate new schools into the existing structure. He will also review the local control at the existing schools and determine what services should be available at the site and which should come from a central office.
It is important that the archdiocese and the schools have a relationship that is mutually beneficial, Msgr. Young said. With the addition of new schools we are challenged to look at the system from a different perspective as we try to meet the needs of each specific school. In the past, site-based management has been the strength of our schools. We now have the opportunity to create a balance between things decided by a central authority at the archdiocesan offices and site-based management where the services are provided. We can have the best of both worlds.
Msgr. Young said he would also like to evaluate the school tuition assistance program put in place in the fall of 1998. The tuition assistance program is funded by interest from an endowment and by a portion of parish assessments of 15 percent on operating income over $250,000. The program is designed to ensure that tuition assistance is available to Catholic families on the basis of need.
The tuition assistance program has been in place for the first time, and we need to take a look and see if it is doing what we wanted it to do---provide Catholic education to the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Msgr. Young said.
Msgr. Young said he will continue to deal with the demands of building new schools which were made possible through the Building the Church of Tomorrow Capital Campaign.
The minute our doors open we intend to be working toward SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation, Msgr. Young said. For that to happen everything needs to be in place.
The new Secretary for Education is also looking forward to dealing with the challenges of the religious education aspect of his office. The post oversees Catholic schools, religious education and Catholic campus ministry.
In todays world there are various perspectives on how the faith should be taught, Msgr. Young said. Children can be taught their faith through our Catholic schools, their parish school of religion program or through home schooling. Religious education becomes more challenging all the time because catechists themselves sometimes have an erratic education in the faith. In the case of blended families where both parents are not Catholic, there are different but difficult problems. It is an exciting time to be in the field.
The Secretary for Education post is one that Msgr. Young previously held from Feb. 1, 1993 until his resignation Feb. 1, 1996.
I look at this assignment with a different perspective, Msgr. Young said. The last time I served in this position it was on a part-time basis, where in addition to my responsibilities as Secretary for Education, I was also a pastor of a parish that was experiencing incredible growth. Because of that I was unable to devote to either job all the time and attention it deserved. Now that I have been relieved of my responsibilities as pastor, I will be able to give all of my time and energy to this new assignment.
Msgr. Young, a priest of the archdiocese for 26 years, says that the hardest part about accepting this assignment will be leaving his parish family at the Church of St. Benedict, Duluth, where he has served since June 1992.
St. Benedict was my first pastorate, Msgr. Young said. Throughout my assignment I have made many good friends and encountered people who have been enormously supportive. I have also had the privilege of hearing confessions and celebrating weddings, baptisms and funerals, something I hadnt done on a weekly basis when I was principal at St. Pius X Catholic High School. As pastor I also became involved in building a new church and watching as a mission was established from our parish. I am thankful for the many gifts which the people of the parish shared with me during my tenure there.
Following his ordination in June 1972, Msgr. Young began his priestly ministry as parochial vicar and director of religious education at Holy Spirit Parish, Atlanta. He became assistant principal at St. Joseph High School, Atlanta, and taught religion there from 1973 to 1976. He became principal of the school in 1975 and served in that capacity for 18 months before the schools closing.
Msgr. Young earned his master of education in school administration from Georgia State University in 1975. In 1976 Msgr. Young was named principal of St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, and reorganized the program which had been developed around the open classroom. During his 15-year tenure at St. Pius he introduced programs designed to meet the needs of under-achieving students and those with learning problems. He was also the guiding force behind a pastoral ministry program begun to meet the spiritual needs of students.
He served as president of the Georgia Independent School Association from 1985-86 and served for nine years on the archdiocesan Board of Education. He was elevated to the rank of monsignor Dec. 20, 1994.