Superintendents In Residence
Susan Abelein Ph.D.
Dr. Abelein has served as a teacher, principal, diocesan administrator, and consultant in parochial and private Catholic education for twenty years. Prior to her position as Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Recruitment for the Archdiocese of New York, Dr. Abelein served as President and Principal at St. Aloysius in New York, Principal at Verbum Dei in Los Angeles, and Principal of St. Paul of the Cross in La Mirada, California, as well as, a Teacher in Guam and California.
Dr. Abelein earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Southern California, a M.Ed. Leadership from the University of Portland, and a B.A. in English with Secondary Education from the State University of New York at Geneseo. She holds New York State permanent certification in English/Secondary Level and School Admin/Supervision. Dr. Abelein has taught numerous graduate courses at Loyola Marymount University, Fordham University, St. John’s University, and the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Abelein currently serves on the Board of Directors at America Press, Inc. and supports One Home Many Hopes a non-profit whose mission is to “find, rescue, house, love and educate orphaned and abandoned girls in Mtwapa, Kenya and equip them to be the future agents of change in their community.” Dr. Abelein was awarded Fulbright Specialist Scholar roster candidate status in March 2011.
Betty Burks has served for the past five years as the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). She has served for over 30 years in public education –as an elementary principal, district administrator for PreK-12 instructional programs, and 17 years as an elementary teacher – in large urban, suburban, and rural districts throughout Texas. Before joining the SAISD team, Betty served as Associate Executive Director of Instructional Support Leadership Development for the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) in Austin, Texas. She also served as Director of Teaching and Learning for the Fort Worth Independent School District, where her primary duties included oversight of the districts’ professional learning. Betty is currently an independent educational consultant for several education-related organizations that support student academic achievement and leadership development.
With extensive curriculum, instruction, and professional development experiences at all levels of Texas public schools, Betty has shared her experiences through presentations at national and state conferences. She is known for her expertise in leadership development of campus and district administrators, and she was awarded the 2011 Excellence in Educational Leadership by the University Council for Educational Administration. Betty served as a coach for two National Staff Development Council Academies, which included over 100 educators throughout the United States and Canada. She is a friend of VitalSmarts, certified as a trainer for Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations and has trained over 500 administrators in these courses. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio – an all girls public school which partners with a private, non-profit organization.
Betty hold’s a Master’s in education administration from Sul Ross State University and Bachelor’s in education from Texas Tech University. Her life’s work as an educator has been focused on improving the educational opportunity of all children through building and supporting leaders at all levels of the organization.
John Scroggins Ed.D.
Dr. John Scroggins is an experienced school administrator with thirty years of service as a public school administrator. His experience as a classroom teacher, principal, district level administrator, Deputy Superintendent and Superintendent in several districts in the State of Oklahoma have provided him with a variety of professional experiences.
His focus over the last several years has been directed toward Instructional Leadership. His background of research, which has focused on, what instructional leaders need to know and be able to do in order to accelerate student learning have contributed to his work with both common and higher education. He has worked with administrator preparation programs at the university level, developed and trained school administrator programs and served on advisory committees for administrator leadership. As a professional developer he has worked with school leaders in the change process to empower schools to become academically successful organizations for students.
He has served in a variety of professional organizations and conducted training for teachers and administrators in the effective instructional models of research best practices. He has served on committees at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Christian University, and Southern Nazarene University. In addition to his professional service he has served on a number of community organizations and held leadership positions in civic clubs in the communities where he has resided.
Ron Valenti, Ph.D.
Dr. Ronald Valenti has devoted forty-five years to Catholic education both as a high school teacher and administrator. He served the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for twenty-five years as teacher and principal. In 1975, Cardinal Krol appointed Dr. Valenti as the first laymen in the history of Catholic education in Philadelphia to serve as principal. In 1990 he was appointed by Cardinal Keeler to lead the Archdiocese of Baltimore as its superintendent of Catholic schools, a position which he held for twenty years.
Dr. Valenti’s professional career as an educator has spanned many levels. He has been a Commissioner of the Middle States Accreditation Agency; taught graduate courses at the university level; and has authored numerous articles for Catholic literary publications and educational journals. In 2008 Dr. Valenti was appointed Associate Editor of a newly created research journal, “International Studies in Catholic Education,” founded by Dr. Gerald Grace of the Institute of Education, the University of London, Center for Research and Development in Catholic Education (CRDCE).
His career has been marked by notable recognition and accomplishments. In 2008 he was invited by President George W. Bush to participate in the White House Summit for Faith Based Schools. In 2002 he received an award from the Baltimore Jewish Council in recognition of his cultivating a collaborative relationship between the Christians and Jewish communities. In 2004, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, conferred on Dr. Valenti a Papal Award and Honor for his outstanding contributions to Catholic education.