JSERRA CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL | President
Rich Meyer, founding DIA Board Chair, has served as President of JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, since 2012. His previous school experience included teaching English in Spain and in the Chicago school system for eight years. Then he was named headmaster at Northridge Prep, also in Chicago. Currently, he’s also a member of the Board of Visitors for the Busch School of Business at Catholic University of America; Board Chair of Duc In Altum Schools Collaborative, and participates with the San Juan Capistrano Legatus Chapter. In the past, he’s served on the boards of several independent and parochial Catholic schools. He and his wife, Anne, have eight children.
Meyer holds degrees in Speech Communications, University of Illinois; Masters of English Education, Benedictine University; and Masters, Spanish Language & Literature, Middlebury College.
“I am incredibly indebted to my founding colleagues of DIA Schools. Over the past several years it has been a rich blessing to watch this grassroots organization take shape within our collective vision of providing Catholic school educators with top-notch formation and professional camaraderie. By God’s grace, the DIA brand has become synonymous with passionately authentic Catholic education.”
St. James Academy | President
Founding DIA Treasurer, Andy Tylicki, has served as President at St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas, since 2011. He arrived at SJA in 2004 as the school’s first Athletic Director, and served as Principal in 2010. Tylicki was previously a public school teacher, counselor and coach in the Kansas City area. His other experience includes chairing the President Search Committee for Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, his alma mater. Andy and wife Missy have three children.
Tylicki’s degrees include the Education degree from Emporia State University, and Masters in School Counseling from Emporia State and School Leadership Masters from Benedictine College.
“DIA has been a blessing for St. James Academy over the past few years. The ability to collaborate with like-minded Catholic school leadership across the country inspires the work we do on our campus. Working with schools that share the mission of passing on the Catholic faith to the next generation not only makes our school better but gives me hope in the future of our Church.”
Sister Anna Laura Karp, O.P.
ST. CECILIA ACADEMY | Principal
Sister Anna Laura Karp, O.P., is a current DIA Schools Collaborative Board Member. Since 2018 she serves as the Principal of St. Cecilia Academy, the oldest all-girls high school in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a member of the inaugural leadership team at the opening of Frassati Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Sister’s undergraduate degree is in B.S. in English from the University of Dallas, and she holds a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas, as well as a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Sister is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation of Nashville, Tennessee. She currently serves on the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.
“The kinship I experienced at my first DIA Schools Summit in Minneapolis immediately caught my attention. Serving on the DIA board alongside these inspiring Catholic school leaders helps me be the best leader possible. I’m excited to help grow this network of like-minded Catholic school professionals.“
Dr. Todd Flanders
Providence Academy | Headmaster
Founding Board Member, Dr. Todd Flanders, is the Headmaster at Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota, since the school opened in 2000. He also taught history and theology in both college and high school, Co-founded a residential college program, served as director of career services at Truman State, and was Director of educational programming at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Currently he’s also a speaker on education, religion and the free society; lectures with the Acton University program and the Harry J Flynn Catechetical Institute; serves on the advisory board of the University of St. Thomas’s Center for Catholic Studies; is on the board of regents of a Catholic independent secondary school; and is a video contributor to HeroicMen.com. Flanders and wife, Jane, have four children.
Flanders’ undergrad in political philosophy is from the University of Chicago; Masters in History is from Truman State University; and Ph.D. in theology is from Boston College.
“DIA Schools has been an excellent resource for me personally, as well as for the leadership team at Providence Academy. Exchanging ideas and affirming the situations we all encounter has been immeasurably beneficial. We are grateful for the fellowship.”
Dr. Ed Lindekugel
Holy Spirit Preparatory School | Head of School
Head of School at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Ed Lindekugel, joined the DIA Board at the start of his tenure at Holy Spirit Prep in 2020. Previously Lindekugel has been a high school and middle school teacher, assistant principal, and principal in private schools in Maryland and Maine. He’s also been a professor at University of New England and Mercer University, and Headmaster at Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, Georgia. He currently oversees his education consulting business, is a board member at Acton Academy at Serenbe, and is involved with Knights of Columbus while also speaking on topics of servant leadership, school safety, and Catholic school improvement/viability strategy. Lindekugel and wife, Gina, have three children.
Lindekugel’s education includes BA in History from University of Maryland; MBA from University of Maryland; MAT from Johns Hopkins University; and Ed.D. from Georgia State University.
“DIA provides a structure of resources and support for Catholic schools striving to remain authentic to Christ’s command of evangelization.”
St. James Academy | Director of Faith Formation
Deborah Nearmyer is St. James Academy’s Director of Faith Formation and founding team member since 2004. She’s an ex-officio board member of DIA Schools Collaborative. Currently she’s also Founder and Co-Director, Camp Kateri Tekakwitha, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas since 1998; Founder and advisory member of the Prairie Star Ranch; Founder and lead team member for Camp Tekakwitha Women’s Retreats; Advisory member for the Archbishop’s ”Enflame” initiative to launch missionary discipleship; and speaker and presenter on the spiritual life, mission-driven schools & missionary discipleship.. Previously Nearmyer was Director of Youth Ministry on the parish level for 12 years, served on the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Council, and was a Social Worker with families seeking adoption. She and husband, Deacon Dana, have five children and four grandchildren
Nearmyer’s educational credentials include Bachelors in Social Work from University of Kansas; commissioning by Holy Family School of Faith; and training with Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England.
“I am passionate about the DIA Collaborative because I believe that Catholic schools, like all of us in the spiritual life, work better when we work together in community. DIA provides the opportunity for like minded schools and its leaders to dialogue, share kingdom building practices and support one another in the cultural battle of today’s educational climate. As scripture says ”iron sharpens iron,” DIA does just that! My DIA colleagues and friends inspire me and I am encouraged to grow this authentic and sturdy network of Catholic Educators.”
JSerra Catholic High School | VP of Mission & Faith
Patrick Reidy is an ex-officio board member with DIA. Since 2014, he has been the Vice President of Mission & Faith at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. With 12 years of combined high school and college-level instruction of Spanish and Theology, he now oversees student, staff, and parent formation at JSerra. Before returning to education for good in 2005, Reidy served as a missionary and supervisor with NET Ministries and then for five years as a Archdiocese of Denver seminarian. Since 2007 he has been an international presenter on Saint John Paul II’s Catechesis on Human Love (Theology of the Body). Currently, he is completing his M.A. in Catholic School Leadership in Notre Dame University’s Remick Leadership Program. Pat is happily married to his wife, Sandra.
Reidy’s education includes a B.A. in Math, Computer Science and Spanish from St. Norbert College; M.A., Spanish Literature from Indiana University; and a B.Phil (Philosophy) from St. John Vianney Seminary. About DIA he says, “Above all I treasure the friendships we’ve developed among the DIA Schools leaders as well as the alliances we have formed among like-minded Catholic schools through the Summits. One of the greatest strengths of the Collaborative is the tight network of highly experienced and dedicated Catholic educators with whom I now collaborate regularly. I highly regard all the leaders I’ve met. They make me better in my vocation as a Catholic educator. I look forward to many others who will be part of DIA that I will be able to work with in the future.”
DIA’s Executive Director, Kyle Pietrantonio, was named to the position in 2020. Previously he was Head of School at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, a prekindergarten through 12th grade independent Catholic school in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s also experienced as a school principal and classics and history teacher in Catholic schools, was a founding board member of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, and is a graduate of Leadership Sandy Springs, Leadership Atlanta and the Catholic Charities Leadership programs. He received the The Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education by the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Currently, Pietrantonio serves as Vice Chair, Ignation House Board of Directors. He and wife, Meghan, have three children.
Pietrantonio graduated Georgetown University with a A.B. magna cum laude in classics, medieval studies, and theology; he’s alumnus of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program with a M.Ed. in secondary education; and doctoral studies were completed at The Catholic University of America in educational leadership and policy.
“The mission of Duc In Altum Schools Collaborative is both inspiring and important. In order to strengthen our Catholic schools, our leaders need a close network of collaborators with whom they foster ideas, face challenges, and find support. The growth and strength of passionately Catholic schools will be a critical lever for the future of the American Catholic Church. DIA provides a framework for dioceses, schools, and leaders to work towards achieving this vision.”
Father Paul Kostka
Father Paul Kostka, DIA Chaplain, was among the founding members of the DIA Schools Formation Summit, coordinating the first three annual conferences. He was ordained for the Servants of Christ Jesus by Archbishop Aquila in 2013. He was Chaplain at Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver, Colorado, from 2013-2016, and Assistant Principal from 2016-2018; and Campus Minister at University of Denver from 2018-2020. Also he was appointed a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in 2016. Currently, Fr. Paul is mobilized to Active Duty with the Navy and is serving for one year as Chaplain to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
Father’s education resume includes undergrad in Philosophy and Theology at Franciscan University, Masters of Divinity from St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, and Masters in Education Administration from Marymount University.
“Helping Catholic Schools to become mission driven and focused on the formation of students and faculty is a blessing. The national impact of DIA is greater than any one school.“
DIA’s Coordinator is Karen Maginn, joining the team in 2018. Previously, Maginn was Admissions Director for ten years, and Director of Advancement until 2011, and Business Manager for a year, at St. James Academy, Lenexa, Kansas, since they opened in 2005. Other experiences included volunteering with the family’s parish capital campaign, auction and the school’s PTO as Treasurer. She was also the host committee liaison for NCYC which was hosted in Kansas City in 2009 and the founding president of Iowa’s Meeting Planners International Chapter. Karen and husband Dennis have three children.
Maginn’s degrees include B.S. in Public Relations and Marketing from University of Northern Iowa; and Masters of Public Administration with Business Emphasis from Drake University.
“Working with a young organization like DIA has been rewarding and challenging. I believe that to be successful, intentionally Catholic schools need a strong network of like-minded collaborators. Remaining involved in Catholic education with passionate school leaders after retiring from St. James Academy gives me hope in the future of our Church.”
DIA founding Schools
2021 DIA Schools Summit 4210 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205