Our Mission Is Essential

COVID-19 has presented a tremendous challenge for Saint Ignatius High School to balance our mission of providing an academically rigorous, Catholic, Jesuit education along with the health and safety recommendations of leading healthcare experts. On Monday, January 11, we returned to our current On Campus Schedule.

Saint Ignatius High School

Q&A with Mary Ann Vogel

Mary Ann Vogel, a lifelong Clevelander dedicated to urban education, is the first Principal of The Welsh Academy. She is leading the implementation of the plan to open the academy in August 2019 with its first class of 6th-grade students.

Mary Ann Vogel is the Principal for The Welsh Academy after serving as Implementation Director. Her professional background most recently includes Chief Educator for the Intergenerational Schools, consultant for Urban Community School and Catalyst Cleveland. She is a Founding Principal for St. Martin de Porres High School and has been a faculty member and senior administrator with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She has been working closely with Mr. Dan Dixon, S.J. to craft the work plan for the academy and set the process in motion.
 
A lifelong Clevelander, dedicated to urban education, Vogel is eagerly working collaboratively with Saint Ignatius leaders and board members to bring Fr. Welsh’s dream to reality.

What first drew you to The Welsh Academy?

I believe in educational equity. I believe in the City of Cleveland. I believe in opportunity. I am strongly connected to Jesuit spirituality.

Why does urban education still matter?

Education is still one of the ways we can help create equity. It’s part and parcel of Catholic social justice. I think children should not be beholden to a particular education just because of the zip code in which they live.

What are your hopes for this first year?

A year from now, we will see 25 Welsh Academy students on campus, alongside staff members who are ready and enthusiastic.

What are your dreams for The Welsh Academy and its future?

My hope, my dream is that young men from across the city, of different colors and faiths, can break bread and understand we are different but that doesn’t mean we must be divided. It will be like hearing Christ’s words in real time. This is how we can know, serve and love God.

How did you come to make education your career choice?

One day between my junior and senior year in high school, I came home one day and just knew. I wanted to work with kids and make a difference. I love learning and I want kids to love learning.

Why do you live in the City of Cleveland?

If I am going to be working with kids in the city, I should also be living there. It gives me credibility with the kids. I believe in this city.  So I am putting my housing, tax and spending money where my mouth is.

What's the best thing about Cleveland?

There is diversity, particularly of nationalities, which allows for wonderful restaurants, festivals and an opportunity to get to know people. It is a very affordable city with wonderful amenities. 

What do you do for fun?

I’m involved with my Slovenian culture. I’m also an amateur (iPhone) photographer and Lake Erie sunsets are my favorite subjects.

Vogel At-a-Glance

  • Residence: North Collinwood
  • Education: Regina High School, Miami University of Ohio (undergraduate), Cleveland State University (master's in specialized learning disabilities + administrative licensure), University of Pennsylvania (doctorate)
  • Community affiliations: Board member for Facing History and Ourselves, President of Slovenska Pristava, Founding member of Kurentovanje Festival, active member of St. Vitus Parish
  • Household: Sheba the cat