Mercy Academy names new president

Becky Wise Montague and Michael Johnson

Record Staff Report

Mercy Academy’s board of directors has appointed Becky Wise Montague as the school’s next president effective July 1.

Montague, a graduate of the class of 1991, will succeed Michael Johnson, who has served at the school since 1990. Johnson is stepping down to spend more time with his family, according to a statement from Mercy.

Johnson began his career at Mercy as an assistant principal and was named principal four years later, said the statement. In 2003 he was appointed president of the all-girl school, now located at 5801 Fegenbush Lane. The 134-year-old school was located on East Broadway at the time.

“Mercy is a uniquely good and wonderful place, never perfect but always striving to get better,” said Johnson in the statement. “There is great pride in the midst of profound humility. I look forward to what lies ahead with a new leader, a fresh chapter and a great story yet to be told.”

Montague earned a master of science degree in social work from the University of Louisville and a master of arts degree in special education from Campbellsville University.

She is a licensed clinical social worker who most recently served as executive director of Family Community Clinic, Inc., a local non-profit clinic located on the grounds of St. Joseph Church in Butchertown. The clinic provides care for uninsured children and adults with the help of volunteer medical professionals.

The school’s statement called Montague a “true woman of Mercy.”

“She credits her love of Catholic social teaching and service to her community to her experience as a Mercy student,” the statement said. “Mercy truly feels that withher well-rounded strengths in fundraising, finance and facilities, coupled with her love of Mercy, she is uniquely positioned to lead us.”

Johnson noted he’s a “nuts and bolts person” who has overseen “programs, buildings and finances.” Montague will bring a fresh approach to leading the school, he said.

“She will be less involved with the nuts and bolts and will be able to get out into the community. I think that is critical,” he added.
Montague said in the statement that she feels “overwhelmingly wonderful” as she moves into this new role at Mercy.

“My leadership style is to be very present, accessible, hands-on and informed,” said Montague. “I like to know how people do their job and the things that interest people. I hope to take Mercy from the campus to the community and then bring the community back to the campus.”

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