Peggy Schoenfuss
Superintendent of Schools

It is a true blessing that we again get to open the doors of our 14 Catholic elementary schools. It’s with great awe and wonder that we profess the love of Christ to the more than 1,900 children attending.

Each fall, we wonder what the new school year will bring. Not one beginning of the school year is ever the same – there are always new things to learn and new obstacles to overcome. Now that we are finally over the struggles with handling COVID from a few years ago, you’d think things would get easier. Unfortunately, there are still various obstacles to overcome.

This current school year has brought us the wonderful opportunity to welcome many new families to our schools. The great joy of seeing more and more new families choose our Catholic schools has been amazing. With the increased enrollments, we are excited to have to again deal with the issues of full classrooms, needing more materials and resources, and the excitement to share our faith with so many more children and families.

When welcoming these new families, we’ve inquired why they’ve chosen our schools. Many are drawn to the family-oriented and smaller class sizes, but more importantly the true values and morals we uphold and instill in our students. There is something to be said for our Catholic faith and our constant teaching of the truth of Jesus Christ and guiding our students to live the beatitudes and commandments. Even at the youngest ages, the children in our Catholic schools know they are beloved children of God and God has given us parameters for a healthy and happy life. This teaching of faith has truly guided our schools, and we take pride in the fact that we uphold those teachings of our Lord.

Another great opportunity we’ve experienced this school year is our new teachers. We have trained-in more than 40 new teachers this year! If you are not aware, we have a teacher shortage in the state of Wisconsin. This caused some anxiety for many of us, as when we entered the month of August, we were still 30 teachers short across the diocese. Praise God, we were able to fill our teaching positions with wonderful people who have a true heart and desire to teach in our Catholic schools. What an amazing opportunity for them as well as us. The wonder this will bring to our students is amazing. Some of these are retired professionals from engineering, agricultural, mathematical, medical and other careers who have heard God’s call to teach our children. There are also many faithful public educators who have come to our schools with many years of teaching experience. Thank you to all who have answered the Lord’s call to teach! We are blessed.

As the new year begins, many of the normal challenges are still there to be faced: limited funds and staffs that are spread thin. We hope to find ways to address those challenges this year. Our parishes that have schools have put a lot of talent, time and treasure into them. These parishes have truly witnessed the evangelizing blessing of our Catholic schools. We have many great parishioners and Catholic school alumni who willingly give to our schools for material needs, which we are truly thankful and blessed to receive and hope to continue to acknowledge. But the financial factor we tend to overlook is the human aspect of our schools. Even with the best materials and most outstanding building, our schools could not function without the dedication of trained professionals to teach. We have to consider how we can increase giving to our schools to fund the salaries and benefits of our teachers and staff. They are what makes our schools truly work and be successful. Throughout this school year, as a diocese, we will be looking at how we can be good stewards of our human resources – how we can sustain our wonderful human talent by making sure our teachers and staff, who have committed their lives to teaching in our schools, can be justly compensated. We hope those of you who support our Catholic Schools will consider helping with this endeavor.

Our vision is clear: Our Catholic schools are a vital part of the teaching mission of the church. Catholic schools continue to be the most effective means available to the church for the education of children and young people who are the future of the church. We are all challenged to ensure that our schools are available, accessible and affordable to all Catholic parents and their children.
If you would like to extend your support of the diocesan schools and make a lasting impact, there are countless arrangements to choose from that will fit your financial circumstances and that work best for your goals.

Each January, as we observe Catholic Schools Week, we continue the tradition of a special diocesan-wide freewill offering that provides immediate and direct funding assistance for our schools. Although this is one initiative to address many of the challenges facing our schools, the Catholic Schools Week Collection will provide an additional source of support for schools based on the number of students.

Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit us after your lifetime, you can find a charitable plan that lets you provide for your family and support the Diocese of Superior. You decide how you give. The diocese has made available a first-class giving and estate planning recourse to you free of charge. Visit This comprehensive site will help you support our schools, protect loved ones, organize everything in one place and save on taxes.

You may also contact Steve Tarnowski, director of development, and he will help you with your giving and estate planning questions. He can be reached at 715-394-0223 or .
We are truly looking forward to this school year. It will be a joy to watch the ways God works in and through all of you to bless the young people of our diocese!

Peggy Schoenfuss