An independent Catholic school for girls in grades 7-12

President's Message

February 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

This has been a busy but quiet week on the Ursuline campus, with students enjoying a well-deserved winter break after completing the first half of the third marking period. During the break, faculty are leading groups of students on trips to France, Washington DC, and Camden, New Jersey. We are blessed to have these opportunities available to our community, and the committed faculty to make them happen.

We have recently begun to organize a Strategic Planning Process to review the overall health and future direction of the Academy. Our last Strategic Plan was completed in 2009, and has served as the blueprint for Ursuline’s major initiatives for the past eight years. That plan has guided us through significant improvements in the areas of mission integration, academics, technology, the arts, athletics, student life and facilities. With the completion of the Athletic and Convocation Center, the initiatives of the 2009 Strategic Plan will be largely complete. Therefore, we need to create a plan that will take Ursuline Academy through the next several years – to revisit and affirm who we are, where we are headed, and how we will ensure that we provide the best experience for the students enrolled here. In short, what is the best path to ensure that we prepare young women for today’s world with a holistic educational experience rooted in the timeless wisdom and traditions of St. Angela Merici?

I have asked Kathleen Nolan Levesque ’77, whom many of you already know, to lead us in the development of our next strategic plan. As a graduate, board member, past president and past principal, Kate’s 40-plus year affiliation with the school gives her an ideal perspective to consider what makes Ursuline Academy unique. While some elements of the planning process will be fluid, the goal is to create a plan that will address future needs in the areas of mission, program, enrollment, facilities, and finances. Three phases are envisioned in this process.

I – Data Collection and Analysis, Spring 2017: During this 4-month process, data will be collected in several areas, including but not limited to demographics, student and family profiles, opportunities and challenges, and key resources.

II – Listening Sessions, Early Fall 2017: With a priority on inclusion, listening sessions will be held with all constituencies – students, parents, faculty and staff, administrators, trustees, and alumnae.

III – Synthesis and Plan, Fall 2017 until Spring 2018: During this phase, the work of clarifying insights and refining the vision will take place. The result will be a clearly articulated vision along with the steps required to achieve it -- a plan that has widespread community support.

A small strategic planning committee to whom Kate will report has been formed, consisting of trustees, administrators and a faculty member. The committee will create a communications plan to ensure that stakeholders are well-informed at the appropriate times.

Embarking on a Strategic Plan is both daunting and exciting for all of the participants involved. Kate Levesque’s words say it perfectly: “we must hold fast to our mission, be of open minds, and prepare to be flexible.” With our collective energy and commitment, I am sure that we will position Ursuline Academy to thrive for decades to come.


Rosann M. Whiting

Previous updates

January 2017

Dear Friends,

I hope that 2017 is off to a good start for you, as it is for us here on campus. Students have just completed mid-terms and are diving headlong into the start of the third quarter, which began this week; after the quiet of the holidays, we are moving rapidly toward all of the activities and rituals of the winter and spring seasons.

There are several opportunities coming up to participate in or be an active observer of life at Ursuline. On Feb. 2, our choral groups will perform in a collaborative concert with their counterparts at Xaverian Brothers High School. Junior Ring Ceremony, always a beautiful occasion for students to celebrate their identity as an “Ursuline girl,” will be held during the Feast of St. Angela Mass on Jan. 27. Parents of the juniors are invited to attend the mass, ceremony and a brief reception following. Planning is beginning for the 25th annual Fore the Girls Golf Tournament to benefit our athletic programs; the participation of many is both welcome and crucial. On February 11, we will be the host school for a robotics tournament, and parents are welcome as spectators or volunteers. And on February 14, alumnae mothers and their daughters will gather to celebrate their shared love for Ursuline at a Valentine's Day coffee being held at the Convent. Please keep your eye on the web site for details about these and other events.

In my next letter, I will outline the structure of a Strategic Planning Process that will be commencing this spring. The first update to our Strategic Plan since 2009, it will be a major tool in setting the future direction of Ursuline Academy.

Please know that I keep all of our families and alumnae in my prayers every day. I am always grateful for the privilege of educating your daughters and for your support of Ursuline Academy.


Rosann M. Whiting

November 2016

Dear Friends,

At this time of year, it is natural and right to give thanks for the people, things, and relationships that we have been given -- for our good health, our families and friendships, and for the simple blessings of food, clothing and shelter.

On behalf of the Ursuline Academy community, I also want you to know how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve. Every day I thank God for the privilege of serving as the president of a school with a steadfast commitment to educating young women. Together with our faculty and staff, I am honored by the opportunity to support our students and families in our day to day work. Most importantly, Ursuline Academy's focus on Serviam provides all of us with the opportunity each week to serve those in need, for which I am profoundly thankful.

May God bless your and your family this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.


Rosann M. Whiting

October 2016

Dear Friends,

It seems as if we just turned the corner from August to September, and here we are turning the corner from October to November. Students and teachers are finding their rhythm, with the first term having just closed, and fall sports teams are wrapping up their regular seasons. The furniture for the foyer has arrived, and our students seem to be so pleased with the new space. The new rug proclaims to all who enter that this is URSULINE ACADEMY! Whenever I walk into the building, I see students sitting, talking, sharing and laughing. Indeed, the school year is off to a wonderful start!

This is the time of year that I think often about how school life is filled with rites of passage. Our sophomores and juniors took the PSAT last week, starting them on the path toward life beyond high school, while seniors are finishing up their college applications before November 1 deadlines. At the same time, we just welcomed hundreds of visitors to our annual Open House, where we welcomed prospective students and parents who will start their Ursuline journey next fall. One of the great rewards of life in a school is that whenever I grow sentimental about the students who will leave our campus, I only need to look at a group of 7th graders to bring the smile back to my face.

Last month’s Homecoming was a fabulous day of celebrating the Ursuline community. Thank you to all of the 400+ students, faculty, alumnae and friends who joined us for a beautiful fall day filled with athletic contests, family fun and games, a barbecue, and a Mass. I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a group of our “legacy” students and their alumnae mothers for coffee. This day is a growing tradition, and it is exciting to see it become bigger and better every year. In fact, in September of 2017 we plan to introduce Reunion & Homecoming Weekend, where we welcome back the classes ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’ for their reunion and combine it with Homecoming in one amazing weekend.

On November 5th, we will celebrate our ninth annual Brescia Ball, where we will celebrate the contributions of two alumnae, Pat Leary Dowling ’52 and Mary Jo Keaney ’82, while we raise funds to make our programs and facilities stronger than ever. I hope you will be able to join us there.

In a departure from the seasonal routines, a highlight of this fall was the tree-topping ceremony for the Athletic and Convocation Center, where a beam signed by all of our students and faculty was hoisted in place to mark the end of the steel framing. At the ceremony, students learned that the evergreen tree and American flag that were hoisted along with the beam represent patriotism and continued prosperity for the building and its occupants. That is my hope for you and your families, and I ask you to pray for the same for Ursuline Academy.


Rosann M. Whiting
Rosann M. Whiting

September 2016

Dear Friends,

To all families, both new and returning, I want to extend a heartfelt “welcome back.” This summer has seen more than its usual share of activity, but regardless of the level of summer activity, the campus is always far too quiet without the laughter and the footsteps of the students in the hallways. It is wonderful to have them and their joyous presence back on campus.

In my opening message to the students and faculty on Wednesday, I spoke of the many changes happening both within and outside the school walls. I am excited beyond words to welcome Michelle Smith as our new principal, and to welcome Shannon Parker as Dean of Academic Affairs. Together with Dr. Muldoon, they make a formidable leadership team. They will work with the returning faculty and eleven new teachers in putting forth the best educational experience possible for your daughters. In addition to the staffing changes, we are implementing a new schedule and new course offerings, rearranging classrooms, adjusting parking and pick-up patterns, and constructing a new building all at the same time! This will be an exciting year, but it will take some time to assimilate these changes. Human nature is to resist change, and at times it will be uncomfortable. There are bound to be some rough edges to smooth out with so many new people and habits to get accustomed to, but it is my hope that we can collectively work together as we fine-tune the details. In the end, we are building a stronger Academy for our current and future students – and people must sense it, because we are nearly at capacity this year, while many Catholic schools are struggling to maintain a healthy enrollment!

I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to meet many of you last week at our evening parent socials, and I look forward to meeting more of you next week. Please come out and join us for these relaxed evenings where you can meet other parents at your daughter’s grade level. If you are not able to join one of these events, then come to campus for Homecoming on Sept. 24! And when our paths cross, please take the opportunity to introduce or re-introduce yourself to me. I enjoy getting to know you as individuals.

Thank you again for giving us the privilege of educating your most precious gift, your daughters, and best wishes for a fruitful year. My door is always open to you.


Rosann M. Whiting
Rosann M. Whiting

June 2016

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

For the moment, things have quieted down just a bit on Lowder Street, as students and teachers have left campus, and we are surrounded by the sights and sounds of summer blended with the construction activity. Eighty-two girls have crossed the threshold from student to alumna, and stand on the verge of contributing their considerable talents to their colleges and communities.

While the temptation is to turn our sights immediately to planning for next fall, we need to pause and look back at this year – and what a year it has been! We have accomplished much during the 2015-16 school year at Ursuline, and my wish is that collectively we can rejoice in the progress we have made together. Among the most noteworthy items are:

  • We have searched for and hired a new principal, Michelle Smith, who will lead Ursuline into the next phase of excellence. On July 1, Michelle will take the reins from Interim Principal Kate Levesque, to whom we are indebted for her outstanding leadership this year. Welcome, Michelle!
  • We completed a rigorous examination of our academic curriculum, and stand poised to offer next year’s students new electives in the arts, sciences, and foundational skills, as well as a schedule that will allow those new offerings to happen while also building time into the school day for students to study, collaborate with each other, or seek extra help.
  • We evaluated new athletic offerings and introduced an inter-scholastic sailing team in partnership with St. Sebastian’s School.
  • We began offering ImPACT testing, a tool in the identification and treatment of concussions, to any student who wants the test, as well as requiring it for all of our athletes. Over the course of the year, 303 tests were administered.
  • Last but not least, we broke ground on our new Athletic and Convocation Center, which will enhance the academic, athletic, and community life for generations of Ursuline students to come. Read more about the project or view construction progress.

I am grateful to the many individuals and organization that have made these wonderful enhancements to the experience of Ursuline students possible – faculty and staff members, parents, alumnae, and benefactors. My deepest appreciation goes to all those who have provide financial or professional support for the Athletic and Convocation Center, including the Yawkey Foundation, all donors large and small, and the members of our Campaign Cabinet. While fundraising for the project will continue, the support we have received to date has made the first steps possible.

My best wishes for a restful summer and for the gift of time spent with family and friends.


Rosann M. Whiting
Rosann M. Whiting

March 2016

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

It is hard to believe that Holy Week and the Easter Triduum are here already. It seems as though we just returned from February break and the brief spell of winter cold that it brought, and now the crocuses are blooming and it almost seems like spring!

This week we celebrate the rebirth of the Risen Lord, and give thanks for the gift of eternal life. We are also grateful for a host of new beginnings here on campus. The appointment of our new principal, Michelle Smith, the impending construction of our Athletic & Convocation Center, and the implementation of a new master schedule are all things that heighten our sense of excitement and of gratitude as we look toward the future.

Please know that I keep you and your family in my daily prayers. Best wishes for a blessed and joyful Easter, and for the new beginnings that we celebrate together.


Rosann M. Whiting
Rosann M. Whiting

February 2016

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

Rosann M. WhitingIt gives me great pleasure to announce that Michelle Smith has accepted my offer to serve as the next principal of Ursuline Academy beginning in July of 2016. Throughout the interview process with the search committee and the school community, Michelle showed a distinct commitment to the education of young women, a depth of understanding of curriculum, and a focus on empowering faculty.

Ms. Smith comes to us with years of experience both as a teacher and administrator in Catholic schools. She began her career as a music teacher and director at St. Sebastian’s School before moving on to Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, MD, where she was the Upper School Music Director and then the Dean of Students. She furthered her academic leadership experience as Middle Level Director/Principal at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, MD. After relocating to the Boston area in 2012, Michelle assumed various interim leadership positions primarily in public schools. Most recently, she has served as the Executive Director at Health Care Without Walls in Wellesley. Michelle is married and has four school-aged children.

Michelle has a BA in Music Education from Ithaca College as well as an MA in Music Education with a concentration in Oboe Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She has a Masters Certificate from Johns Hopkins University in Leadership and Supervision, and has taken additional coursework at Harvard University.

We were blessed in the principal search process to have many strong candidates. Any of the three women who visited our campus to meet with faculty, staff, students and parents showed the talent and the character to be a strong leader of the Academy. Of the many comments we heard about Michelle during the course of the search, a few brief excerpts exemplify her impressive combination of qualities: “passion for education,” “deep understanding and practical knowledge of faculty and student needs,” “forward thinking and innovative,” “collaborative,” “proven leadership developing a positive educational and teaching environment,” “takes responsibility,” “strong role model,” “advocate for the arts,” and “embodies Serviam.” We are thrilled to have such an accomplished educator, an admired teacher and leader throughout, join Ursuline Academy.

The next few years at Ursuline Academy will bring exciting new opportunities as we approach the expansion of our campus and the implementation of a new master schedule, as well as the ongoing work of refining the academic, spiritual, and athletic offerings for our students. I am confident that the rigorous search process, including the thoughtful feedback of our community members who took the time to meet the candidates, has led us to the best leader. I know Michelle will count on the partnership and support of all of you as Ursuline Academy embraces these opportunities in the years ahead.

I will keep you informed over the coming weeks regarding how and when Ms. Smith will transition into her role as principal. I am sure she will be grateful for your warm welcome into our community.


Rosann M. Whiting

December 2015

December 2015

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

I would like to provide you with an update on the Principal Search from the co-chairs of the search committee, Angela Crispi and Brother Raymond Vercruysse. Please see below for the current status of the search and next steps in the process.

Very truly yours,

Rosann M. Whiting


Dear Members of the Ursuline Academy Community,

On behalf of the Principal Search Committee we thought it would be helpful to provide you with an update on the search process which commenced in early Fall with the retention of our search consultants, Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche of Educational Directions, Inc. (EDI). Working jointly, the Search Committee and EDI developed a Candidate Information Document, which identified the qualities, both personal and professional, that we will seek in our next Principal. This document was prepared after EDI spent time with various constituencies of the Ursuline Academy community and in collaboration with the Search Committee. We received a richness of insights from the survey shared community-wide. Enriched with these many perspectives, they conducted extensive outreach throughout the United States contacting and/or posting with various organizations, associations, and networks.

At this point, Mathew and Risa are working with a wide range of individuals who have expressed a strong interest in the position. They will ultimately develop a list of top candidates for consideration by the Search Committee. The candidate files, which include the candidate’s cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, letters of reference and a reference list, will be presented to the Search Committee in early January.

The Search Committee will meet shortly thereafter to narrow down this pool to a list of semi-finalists to interview personally. As noted in our earlier communication, this select group will be interviewed only by the Search Committee in order to preserve candidates’ confidentiality. This is done primarily to avoid unnecessary repercussions for such candidates who have not informed their respective school communities of their interest in pursuing other opportunities. Confidentiality through this phase is the norm when engaging in such a search.

After the semi-finalist interviews, the finalists (typically three) will be selected by the Search Committee and the names of those candidates will be announced in an appropriate fashion to the entire school community. The finalists will have the opportunity to visit Ursuline Academy in late January/early February. During those visits, times will be scheduled for all members of the Ursuline Academy community to meet the candidates and provide their thoughts on each. Details will be forthcoming regarding each group’s (faculty, parents, staff, etc.) ability to meet with the candidates. The Search Committee will meet shortly after the last finalist’s visit to review all of the information gathered throughout the process, which will include feedback received from all members of the Ursuline Academy community. At the conclusion of this process President Rosann Whiting, in consultation with the Search Committee, will determine the most appropriate candidate to be selected as the next Principal.

The search calendar that we established remains on track. We anticipate that we will identify Ursuline Academy’s next Principal early in the new year, with the chosen individual joining Ursuline Academy on July 1, 2016.

In the coming weeks, please be on the lookout for emails containing details about your opportunity to meet the candidates. In the interim, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. We remain grateful to all of you for your insights over the past few months.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and all the best in the new year!


For the Search Committee,


Angela Q. Crispi (P’14)
Brother Raymond Vercruysse, CFC Ed.D

November 2015

November, 2015

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

We imagined a possibility … now we are realizing it!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Ursuline Academy is undertaking a Capital Campaign to raise the funds necessary to address the facility needs outlined in Phase One of the school’s Campus Master Plan. At its September meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with additional fundraising and financing for the construction of a new Athletic and Convocation Center. The nearly 40,000 square-foot two-story facility will stand on the highest point on campus, overlooking the athletic field, current school building, and the Convent. The necessary building permits have been approved by the Town of Dedham; our intent is to begin construction in the spring of 2016.

This is an ambitious project—the largest undertaking since the school was built in 1958. Through the generosity of our Trustees, alumnae, parents and friends, we are nearing the $7 million mark in gifts and pledges toward the proposed $18 million budget for the building. We now are reaching out to all alumnae, parents, and friends of Ursuline to help fund the remainder. The project’s progress to date is due in large part to the loving stewardship of three Ursuline alumnae: Meg Reynolds ’82, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, and Megan Golden Hobson ‘85 and Marianne LeBlanc ‘86, co-chairs of the campaign. Both the Campaign Cabinet and the Board of Trustees have been working hand in hand for the past two and a half years to shape the vision and provide fundraising leadership to help us realize this dream.

I invite you to visit our Capital Campign page to learn more: take a virtual tour of the building, see architectural renderings, and view naming opportunities. At Ursuline, we challenge our students every day to reach for the Light and the Good. How can we who believe in the Academy do less? Would you consider a gift in support of this campaign? Let’s make Ursuline an even better place for the girls following in the footsteps of those who came before them. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at to discuss this project in further detail.

Thank you for joining in my excitement as we help our students realize the possibilities that await them.

Very truly yours,

Rosann M. Whiting

September 2015

September 23, 2015

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

I am pleased to share with you the most recent update from the co-chairs of our Principal Search Committee. As you will read below, the process reflects our collective dedication to finding a Principal who will serve all of the constituents of our school community, and who will lead Ursuline Academy confidently into the future while being mindful of our heritage as an all girls school founded on the principles of Saint Angela Merici.

My fervent desire is that the search process be transparent and inclusive to everyone who wishes to offer input. To that end, the co-chairs have outlined the proactive steps that will be taken to seek input from our community members and to communicate progress on a regular basis.

I am grateful to the entire search committe for their time, expertise and dedication to Ursuline Academy.


Rosann Whiting


Dear Members of the Ursuline Academy Community:

We are writing to update you on the search process now in place for the next Principal of Ursuline Academy. After establishing the Search Committee, well represented with a group of faculty, staff, parents, alumnae, and trustees, our first action was to identify and engage a search firm to assist us in this all-important task. We carefully researched and spoke with a number of highly regarded firms, selecting Educational Directions Inc., of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, as our partner. Educational Directions was founded in 1987 and is a highly respected national firm. The search will be led by Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche. Mathew and Risa bring deep experience, both as leaders in Catholic education and as search consultants, as well as expertise and enthusiasm to our search. For more information about the firm and our consultants, we invite you to visit the Educational Directions web site at

The Principal search process will be an open and inclusive one. Mathew and Risa will visit the school on Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2 and interview members of all groups within the school (students, faculty, staff, parents, Trustees, alumnae and other constituents) as to what we seek in our next Principal. (We will provide a more detailed schedule shortly.) Among the key questions that they will ask of all of us are:

  • What is the culture of our school? What makes Ursuline Academy a special community?
  • What are the perceived challenges and opportunities for the next Principal?
  • Where do we, as a school, want to focus our academic program for the next 5+ years?
  • What experience/leadership styles/personality traits will best meet those needs within our culture?

In addition, we will provide an opportunity for your input through a confidential online survey. From all of the information gathered through this process, Mathew and Risa, along with the Search Committee, will develop a clear and definitive position description to be used to attract appropriate candidates. We will, of course, share this description with all members of the Ursuline Academy community once it is completed.

Our consultants will be reaching out to individual Catholic educational leaders, executive directors of educational organizations, a variety of Catholic educational leadership programs, and regional school associations to notify them of our opening. Over the next months, they will be identifying and evaluating top prospects. We will then identify a group of top-level candidates and narrow that number down to five to seven individuals whom the Search Committee will interview as semi-finalists. From that group will come three finalists and there will be opportunities for school community members to meet those finalists.

Our calendar calls for identification and engagement of the next Principal of Ursuline Academy to be completed by late January/early February 2016. There will be an organized transition process culminating in the new Principal commencing work July 1, 2016.

We are grateful to President Rosann Whiting for her ongoing leadership and to Interim Principal Kate Levesque who has stepped in with enthusiasm and true commitment. We look forward to the engagement the search process will entail and will keep all members of our school community informed as to its progress via regular updates.

We are grateful for all you do for Ursuline Academy. It is truly a remarkable community of people.

For the Search Committee,

Angela Q. Crispi P’14
Brother Raymond Vercruysse, CFC, Ed.D


August 2015

August 27, 2015

Dear Ursuline Community,

Welcome back to Ursuline! I look forward to seeing the faces of all of our returning students and families, relaxed and refreshed from the summer. I hope you have had a chance to enjoy a well-deserved rest from the school-year routines, and have had time to reconnect as families. To all of our returning faculty, I also trust that you have had a chance to relax. Your efforts during the school year never cease to amaze me!

To the 76 new families who are joining our ranks, I wish to say “Welcome to Ursuline!” I look forward to getting to know you personally, and to helping you find what it means to be part of the Ursuline community. For all of our new students – it may seem hard to believe, but before you know it, your new classmates will feel like sisters.

On Lowder Street, the Facilities team has worked very hard this past summer providing all the necessary preventative maintenance, service, repairs and testing to all of our school buildings, grounds and equipment in order to provide our students and staff a clean, safe and healthy atmosphere for the upcoming school year. We have also brought about a number of improvements that you will see upon returning next week or shortly thereafter:

  • Added more seating to the patio outside of the Tea Room, courtesy of the Class of 2015 Senior Parent Gift.
  • Enhanced field lighting and purchased a new outdoor scoreboard and team seating for volleyball and basketball games, courtesy of the Class of 2015 senior parent gift.
  • Installed a new banner for the back of the stage, to be unveiled at the first assembly.
  • Refurbished the historic iron gates on Lowder Street.
  • Will be adding new furnishings for the school lobby and senior locker room courtesy of the Brescia Ball.

It is proving to be a busy and exciting year ahead of us. In addition to the work of educating our students and offering them opportunities for athletic, artistic and spiritual development, we have a number of ongoing projects to improve current and future student life:

  • Finding and hiring a principal to lead our academic endeavors
  • Responding to NEASC committee recommendations
  • Continuing with permitting and fundraising for the Athletic and Convocation Center
  • Continuing to provide resources for our students to manage the stresses of adolescence

We look forward to an exciting year, and to working together as a community of people who care deeply about Ursuline Academy and all of our past, present, and future students.

Best wishes for a smooth and happy start to the school year.


Rosann M. Whiting

June 2015

June 10, 2015

Dear Ursuline Community,

Last month, I announced my decision to appoint an interim principal to serve for the 2015-16 school year. I am pleased to tell you that Mrs. Kathleen (Nolan) Levesque ’77 has agreed to assume this role, and will start here on Lowder Street in July.

The day-to-day leadership of Ursuline Academy will be in good hands next year with Mrs. Levesque. She is well-known to our community as current vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, and as Past President of the Academy from 2004 – 2007. She is also a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Governance Committee. Under her leadership, the school purchased 112 Lowder Street and successfully began the transition to the President/Principal model. She brings years of experience as an independent school administrator and board member, and serves on the board and the Executive Committee of Moses Brown School, an independent school in Rhode Island that her three sons attended. She has a keen sense of business and of the challenges facing independent schools. As a graduate of Ursuline Academy and the College of the Holy Cross, Mrs. Levesque believes and lives the motto of Serviam. I am extremely pleased that Mrs. Levesque will be stepping down from the board to serve as principal next year, and I know you will join me in welcoming her to our community in her new capacity.

We have also completed the process of forming the search committee for the permanent principal's position. Serving along with co-chairs Angela Crispi P '14 and Brother Raymond Vercruysse, C.F.C., Ed.D will be the individuals listed below. Under the leadership of the co-chairs, the committee will begin the work of finding our next principal in late summer.

  • Mary Lou Burke Afonso '82 P '20
  • Bridget Coyle '91
  • Mary Ferrucci, Director of Guidance
  • Sr. Angela Krippendorf, o.s.u. '59 and Trustee
  • Mary Feeley Moriarty '80
  • Laurel Mullen P'16 '17
  • Dr. Michael Ricard P'15
  • Jim Scanlan P'18
  • Mary-Kate Tracy Robidoux '94, Campus Minister

On May 31, we sent the seventy members of the Class of 2015 on to the next step in their educational journey. They have made an indelible mark on our hearts and our campus, and I am sure that they will continue to make their mark in their college communities and beyond. They are a group of talented scholars, athletes, and women of compassion and strength. While their graduation day was dark and a bit rainy, their future is tremendously bright.

As I said to the graduates that day, "I know that I speak for every member of the Ursuline faculty and staff when I say that I can’t wait to hear of your next steps. I can’t wait to hear the news of your achievements in the classroom, in the board room, and in the operating room. I can’t wait to hear stories of the large and small acts of service you will undertake to make your world a better place. As Principal Keaney said in her farewell remarks to our community, 'Remember your roots. Remember your roots. Remember your roots.' You have roots here on Lowder Street, and we will always welcome you back."


Rosann M. Whiting

May 2015

May 8, 2015

Dear Ursuline Parents,

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful May weather. We certainly deserve it! Here at Ursuline, we are preparing for all of the traditional activities and rites of passage of spring with great anticipation.

In the coming weeks and months, I will use this forum to provide updates on our search for a new principal. We are seeking to find the very best candidate to lead Ursuline Academy into the future while being respectful of our heritage as a school founded on the principles of St. Angela Merici.

First, I wish to share that we have decided to appoint an interim principal to serve for the 2015-16 school year. We will make a formal announcement of that appointment following approval from the Board of Trustees. Secondly, I am pleased to announce that two extremely qualified individuals have accepted my invitation to serve as co-chairs of the search committee. Angela Crispi is known to many of you, as she is a member of our Board of Trustees and the mother of an Ursuline alumna (Lauren, 2014). Angela has a B.A. in Education from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is currently Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Business School, where she leads an organization of more than 1,500 employees. A longstanding educator, she brings a deep understanding of student and faculty affairs plus experience in leading educational institutions.

Also serving as co-chair will be Brother Raymond Vercruysse, C.F.C., Ed.D, Director Emeritus of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership at University of San Francisco. Presently a member of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America Province Leadership Team, Brother Raymond has a B.A. in Economics from Iona College, an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Catholic Educational Leadership. He has written extensively on issues of Catholic Educational Leadership.

We are reviewing the nominations for the search committee membership, and will announce the committee soon. We were blessed with many qualified nominees. Should you have any questions about the principal search, please forward them to me at


Rosann M. Whiting

April 2015

April 17, 2015

Dear Friends of Ursuline,

It is with a great sense of regret that I inform you that Principal Mary Jo Keaney ’82 has made the decision to step down at the end of this academic year. After six years as Principal, Mrs. Keaney is committed to serving her parents, who are passionate supporters of Catholic education. They sacrificed much to send their daughter to Ursuline Academy, and now that they are in their later years, Mrs. Keaney is dedicated to serving them at their home in Florida. There can be no better show of love between child and parent.

Since arriving as the first lay Principal in 2009, Mrs. Keaney has shepherded many accomplishments from academics to extracurricular activities. She has worked closely with the Ursuline Sisters, faculty, staff and Trustees to ensure the best possible education for the girls. Her contributions are truly broad and deep. In so many ways she embodies the mission of the school, Serviam, and has been an inspiring role model for all.

I will promptly initiate a process to appoint a search committee to identify Mrs. Keaney’s successor. The committee will work together over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. For now, I hope you will join me in wishing her well as she moves forward to a new life chapter, letting her know how much we appreciate her outstanding service to Ursuline Academy.


Rosann M. Whiting

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