By RENEE WEBB
The Diocese of Sioux City announced Feb. 22 that Patty Lansink has been named superintendent of Catholic schools.
“I am honored that Bishop (Walker) Nickless and the rest of the interview committee put their faith in me to continue to lead our Catholic schools,” said Lansink, who has served as interim superintendent since July when Dan Ryan, Ed.D., took the job of president of Dowling High School in West Des Moines. “We are blessed to have a bishop who is so supportive of Catholic education and I look forward to working with him in the future.”
Lansink, a resident of Ida Grove and parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish, has more than 20 years of experience in education. She has served as principal at St. Rose of Lima School in Denison since 2011 and also served as assistant superintendent of Catholic schools since 2015.
“I have truly enjoyed the relationships I have formed with the chancery staff, school administrators and our partners in Catholic education this past year,” she said. “I want to be able to build on those relationships and help support those responsible for the strong tradition of Catholic education in our diocese.”
Bishop Nickless said he was pleased Lansink accepted the offer to become the new superintendent of Catholic schools.
“We have already seen the competence and good work of Patty Lansink as interim superintendent of schools,” the bishop said. “She brings many talents to her position; she is a woman of faith, well respected among her peers and is very excited about the future of Catholic schools in our diocese. May God bless her and all those who make our Catholic schools possible.”
Lansink earned a bachelor of science degree in zoology from Iowa State University and completed her teaching endorsement in science education. She earned a master’s from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and went on to complete an administrative endorsement through the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy as well as her education specialist degree at Wayne State College in December of 2016.
Prior to taking the principal position in Denison, Lansink worked as a high school counselor for 10 years and before that was a science teacher and coach.
The goals of the Catholic schools of the diocese for the next few years, she noted, are laid out in its strategic plan. The main priorities relate to Catholic identity, academics, governance and operational vitality.
In relation to Catholic identity, Lansink said they will continue their work of involving “parents as the primary faith educators of their children and supporting our parishes in the pastoral planning process.”
With academics, they will strive to meet the needs of diverse learners. As part of governance, Lansink said they will continue to encourage school boards and stakeholders to support efforts around Education Savings Accounts and increases to the state student tuition organization program.
Part of the work with operational vitality will center on maintaining a strong focus on enrollment and retention as they help ensure the financial vitality of the schools.
In summing up her philosophy on Catholic education, Lansink referred to a paper written by Father Ron Nuzzi who said that while Catholic schools have a mission, “the mission has schools.”
“This is so true. The church has this amazing evangelization tool in our Catholic schools,” Lansink said. “The schools in our diocese are strong and we have some very positive things happening with enrollment and academics. I am excited to see these things continue to develop in the coming years.”
Lansink and her husband, Jayson, have three children: Madison, 18; Lauren, 14 and Sam, 9.
She will soon begin a search for a new principal to replace her at St. Rose of Lima.