Board of Specified Jurisdiction
Board of Specified Jurisdiction
In 2020 Our Lady of the Assumption School, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston and in partnership with the Healey Education Foundation, adopted a new governance model known as a Board of Specified Jurisdiction (BSJ) to replace the former Advisory Board model. The BSJ collaborates closely with the Principal, Vice Principal and Pastor to set and achieve goals and as a decision-making body, is responsible for formulating, approving and enacting policies including the school budget and tuition rates. This new governance structure also creates numerous opportunities for parents, grandparents, alumni and ‘friends’ to lend their time, talent and treasure to advance the mission of OLA School.
Membership on the Board consists of at least nine appointees who serve for a term of three years. Board members partner closely with the pastor and school leadership as they focus their efforts in the following areas: Enrollment/Marketing, Finance, Long Range Planning, Facilities and Development.Board Members also serve as Committee Chairs and recruit Committee members from the wider school and parish community. Involvement of current and former OLA parents, grandparents, alumni and friends is critical to implement our action plans and to achieve our ambitious goals. Collectively, the Board and Committee structure engages the expertise, energy and commitment of the OLA community in meaningful ways to ensure the long-term success of OLA School. It is our hope that you will join us in this effort as we work to ensure that OLA School remains the preferred choice for discerning families seeking a superior education in a nurturing environment that is rooted in the Catholic faith.
Board of Jurisdiction
Len Morrison, Chair Kate Sheehan, Vice-Chair Rev. Paul E. Ritt, Pastor Cynthia Donovan, Principal
Phyllis West, Enrollment Chair
TBD, Facilities Chair
Nick Restuccia, Finance Chair
Very Reverend Paul E. Ritt, Pastor
Father Paul Ritt is the pastor of Ave Maria Parish in Lynnfield, comprised of Saint Maria Goretti Church, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, and Our Lady of the Assumption School.Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1981, Fr. Paul’s first assignment was actually at OLA. After two years, he left to pursue his doctorate in Theology from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Father Paul then embarked on a teaching ministry that continues to this day, including 13 years teaching seminarians and being appointed the first director of the Master of Arts in Ministry Program for laity at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. He continues to teach theology to lay women and men at St. John’s Theological Institute for the New Evangelization in Braintree.
In addition, Father Paul currently serves as the Vicar Forane for 14 parishes in Archdiocese of Boston’s North Region, gathering priests for periodic meetings, visiting parishes, and supporting the faithful in whatever ways he can.
Len Morrison, Board of Jurisdiction Chair
Len Morrison oversees career and professional development for graduate students at MIT. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education and has led career services at Bentley University, Northeastern University and Babson College. Earlier in his career, he was Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at Shawmut Bank. Len earned his BA from Bates College and an MBA from Northeastern University. A resident of Lynnfield, Len has been an active parishioner since 1988 serving in a number of volunteer roles with OLA School and the parish, most recently as Vice Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council. He and his wife Liz have 3 daughters, all of whom attended OLA School beginning in PreK-3. Their oldest daughters have graduated from OLA and their youngest is currently in 2nd grade.
Cindy Donovan, Principal
Cynthia Donovan is the principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School. She has over 26 years experience in education. She taught at Our Lady of the Assumption for over sixteen years. She left to teach in a lower income public school, at which time she received her Masters in Education with an emphasis on School Leadership. In 2017 she returned to Our Lady of the Assumption as Principal. Cynthia and her husband Kevin have three daughters who are alumni of OLA. While her daughters were students, Cynthia served as Vice President and President of OLA’s PTO. She is also an active member of Ava Maria Parish and is an Eucharist Minister.
Kate Sheehan, Board Vice Chair
Kate Sheehan is the Sr. Vice-President of Foreign Exchange Risk & Product at First Republic Bank. She has spent over 30 years in the International Banking field at institutions such as First National Bank of Boston and Toronto Dominion Bank. Kate is a graduate of the Cork Institute of Technology in Cork, Ireland. A Lynnfield resident and OLA parishioner since 1990, Kate and her husband Jerry have had an association with Our Lady of the Assumption school since the year 2000 when their oldest daughter started in the first grade. Jerry and Kate believe that their foundation years at OLA provided their children with the skills, attitudes and values necessary to thrive. Their youngest daughter is a current sixth grade student.
Phyllis West, Enrollment Chair
Phyllis holds the position of Associate Chief Nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where she oversees nursing operations for various specialty areas. Phyllis earned her BSN and MSN from Salem State College and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Simmons University. Phyllis has been a very active member of the OLA community for the past 23 years, holding various volunteer positions. Phyllis is the Chairperson of the Enrollment Committee, focused on developing expanded enrollment and enrollment catchment areas to the school with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Phyllis resides in Salem. She and her husband Michael have 2 sons Matthew and Christopher, who attended OLA beginning in PreK. Matthew is completing his MBA at Suffolk University this spring, and Christopher is a senior at St. John’s Prep and will be attending Stonehill College in the fall. Phyllis credits a great deal of their educational and faith based foundation to OLA.
Tony Cannistraci is a former career civil servant for the Internal Revenue Service. He has over 20 years of corporate education experience as the Education Branch Chief at the Andover Service Center and later as National Office Program Manager supporting agencywide distance education and learning content management . Earlier in his Human Relations career he was the Chief of Labor Relations for the New England states. Tony earned his BS in Psychology starting at the University of San Francisco and completing his degree at Northeastern University. He also earned his Master of Education with an emphasis in College Counseling and Student Personnel from Northeastern University.
A resident of Saugus, Tony has been as active parishioner since 1980 serving in a number of volunteer roles with OLA School and the parish, most recently by providing technology support along with his wife, Loretta, who also has an extensive background in Education. He and his wife have 2 children, Peter and Angela, who attended OLA school beginning in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Through the strong educational foundation received at OLA School, Peter continued his education at St. John’s Prep, Boston College, and Babson College (MBA). Angela continued her education at Austin Prep, St Joseph’s University, and Boston College (MBA). Peter is currently a Partner for Deloitte Consulting and Angela is a Data Automation Leader at EnergyAustralia. Tony and Loretta have 2 grandchildren who currently attend OLA School
Eric Rich is the Director of Lending at First Priority Credit Union (former Postal Employees Credit Union) overseeing all aspects of lending for the institution including residential mortgage, commercial, and consumer lending. He has almost 30 years of lending experience in executive roles with his current employer and previous employers, GMAC Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Eric earned bachelor’s degrees in finance and management at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. A resident of West Peabody, Eric has been an active parishioner of OLA since 1993 and is a member of the Parish Pastoral Council as well as the OLA School Board. Eric and his wife Tara have a daughter, Devin, who attended OLA School from PreK-8 th grade and is currently a junior, studying nursing in the honors program at Endicott College.