Donna Marino has been selected as the new president and CEO of Catholic Education Arizona, Arizona’s largest provider of scholarships to low-income families attending private schools.
Alan Sears, board chairman of Catholic Education Arizona, announced the decision Dec. 19. Marino starts Jan. 2.
“I am pleased that Donna will be joining Catholic Education Arizona and I look forward to working alongside her,” Sears said.
Marino, who led the Catholic Community Foundation from 2007 to 2013, most recently served as Chief Administrative Officer for Childhelp, a national child welfare/behavioral health organization dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse. A lifelong Catholic, Marino comes with a strong background in philanthropic leadership.
“I am honored and privileged to join Catholic Education Arizona at this point in its history. Their success is providing much-needed financial support to students in our Catholic schools is well known,” Marino said. “Working with our pastors, principals, our distinguished board of directors and our dedicated staff, it is my hope that we can increase the money available so that all families seeking a Catholic school education for their children are funded.”
Since its inception in 1998, individual and corporate contributions to Catholic Education Arizona have helped increase scholarship funding for Catholic schools, beginning with students from families with the greatest financial need. In 2014, a record $17.4 million in contributions were made to assist nearly 50 percent of Catholic school students.
MaryBeth Mueller, superintendent of Catholic Schools, emphasized the key role played by Catholic Education Arizona.
Arizona’s largest provider of scholarships to low-income families attending private schools.
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“Catholic Education Arizona is vital for the formation of students who will be disciples in this world, loving God and neighbor,” Mueller said. “Donna will be instrumental in the continued development of this important organization.”
Some 14,000 students attend Catholic schools in the Diocese of Phoenix. Many are from families who cannot afford to pay the full cost of tuition. That’s where Catholic Education Arizona steps in to help fill the gap between what families can pay and what the schools need to educate students. Since Catholic Education Arizona began, over $126 million in tuition support has been awarded through over 87,000 scholarships to lower-income families with qualified financial need.
“Donna’s proven leadership within the Catholic community is a great gift to the work of Catholic Education Arizona,” said Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares, board member of the tuition organization. “I pray for her continued success in our efforts to provide our students an education rooted in faith, for the sake of these precious souls of God.”
Marino, who as president and CEO of the Catholic Community Foundation led the philanthropic efforts for what is the ninth largest Catholic foundation in the United States, will now lead an organization that serves 39 Catholic schools.
“I am grateful to Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares and look forward to returning to service for the Diocese of Phoenix,” Marino said.