Sacred Heart Academy announces new principal

Sacred Heart Academy has named Kelly M. Lanza as principal, effective July 1. Lanza most recently served in leadership positions at schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. (Photo Special to The Record)

Sacred Heart Academy announced Feb. 1 that Kelly M. Lanza, an administrator in Philadelphia, will serve as its next principal, effective July 1.

She succeeds veteran educator Mary Lee McCoy, who led the school from 2012 until her retirement in June 2020. Amy Nall, an assistant principal, has filled the role of interim principal this school year, which became necessary when the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the search process, according to the school.

Lanza most recently served as principal of St. Martin de Porres School and prior to that at West Catholic Preparatory High School, both in Philadelphia. She previously served at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Philadelphia as assistant principal for student affairs and assistant principal for academic affairs.

Her 22-year career has been almost entirely in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, according to a news release from Sacred Heart. Prior to her positions in leadership, Lanza taught junior high and high school English.

“Given the depth of Mrs. Lanza’s experience in the classroom, and in so many varying administrative leadership roles, I have great faith that she will be a dynamic, innovative and collaborative leader for our faculty, staff and students at the Academy,” said Sacred Heart’s president, Dr. Karen McNay. “Most importantly, Mrs. Lanza leans on and embraces her Catholic faith to inform her decisions and actions. She possesses the qualities and experiences to lead Sacred Heart into the future.”

Mary Lee McCoy retired from Sacred Heart Academy at the end of the 2019-2020 school year after serving as principal since 2012. (Photo Special to The Record)

Lanza holds a bachelor of science degree in English and education from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a master’s in education leadership from Cabrini University in Radnor, Pa.

She is an accomplished musician and has performed throughout the Philadelphia region as a singer and pianist, the release said. Lanza and her husband, Lou, a jazz vocalist, have two children Louis, 12, and Ella, 8.

Mary Lee McCoy retired from Sacred Heart after more than 35 years as a Catholic educator, according to the Catholic Schools Office. Prior to her service at Sacred Heart, she served as principal of DeSales High School. She was previously a leader of Assumption High School, having served both as president and principal.

An announcement from the school said, “Mary Lee devoted the last eight years of herself to SHA and over 30 years of service to the Louisville Catholic community. She left an indelible mark on all those she taught and led, and will be greatly missed.”

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