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Advancement Team

The future of Catholic education lies in advancement. To keep tuition affordable and accessible for local families, fundraising takes a lead role in our operations. It takes a team effort to focus on alternative sources of revenue for financial aid, upgraded technology, improved facilities, and, even more importantly, competitive compensation for teachers. At Sacred Heart Academy, all of our teachers, staff members, and board members, along with parent volunteers help with development efforts. Institutional advancement leaders are responsible for these efforts. Our team leaders are:

Fr. Loren Kalinowski


Fr. Loren has been the Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish since 2008. He was ordained as a priest in 1975, and led Sacred Heart’s “All Are Welcome” and "Dwelling Place" fundraising campaigns. Born and raised in Bay City, Michigan, Fr. Loren attended St. Hyacinth’s Elementary and St. Stanislaus High School before transferring to St. Paul Seminary in Saginaw. He has a deep devotion to Catholic education, including rigor, values and service learning, which makes his commitment to our mission at SHA very meaningful. He recently summarized his years of service in three words: faith, hope and love.  “It is necessary to have faith in God, and faith in each other,” he says. “Along with hope and love.” Fr. Loren is not only a leader when it comes to development planning for the Academy, he is also an investor himself, giving generously to support annual events and the SHA Foundation.  


Mary Kay Yonker


Mary Kay Yonker was named Principal of Sacred Heart Academy in January 2015. A native of Shepherd and a member of Sacred Heart Parish, Mrs. Yonker has more than 20 years of administrative, leadership and classroom experience. She and her husband, Steve, have one daughter currently enrolled at the Academy and two daughters who have graduated from the Academy. She is a proven leader, and SHA has been blessed by the great passion, energy and faith she exemplifies in the principal role. “Mary Kay is committed to our Catholic identity, a positive approach to leadership, and developing relationships with teachers and students which encourage higher achievement,” says Fr. Loren Kalinowski, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. Sacred Heart was specifically seeking an academic leader to promote its vibrant, service-oriented student culture rooted in the Catholic faith, and found one in Mrs. Yonker, whose proven successes from 25 years in education, the last 17 as a principal in three different school districts, most recently Alma Public Schools. "I’m inspired to be part of a tradition of excellence at Sacred Heart Academy. I look forward to building partnerships and establishing relationships with the staff, parents and school community. I especially enjoy my connection with students. Their energy, honesty and curiosity continually inspire me,” Yonker said. In her first six months at SHA, Mrs. Yonker helped successfully fund the $500,000 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Initiative, resulting in an all-new science lab at the Academy and Chromebook 1:1 integration for 7th through 12th graders. Mary Kay can be reached at or (989) 772-1457.


Connie (Veit) McCann  SHA’81

Director of Development

Connie is a 1981 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and a lifelong member of the Parish. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University and brings 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and fundraising to her role at Sacred Heart, including positions with the community hospital and the CMU College of Medicine. Connie has organized annual, capital and special-need fundraising campaigns, in addition to managing events and scholarship endowments. She has completed several comprehensive programs offered by The Fundraising School at Indiana University–Purdue University at Indiana. Connie is active in the community in a variety of volunteer roles. Over the years, she has been proudly associated with organizations such as Kiwanis Club of Mt. Pleasant, Junior Achievement of Central Michigan, Pardee Cancer Treatment Fund of Isabella County, Simons Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Village of Rosebush Manor, Isabella Community Credit Union, and the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce. At Sacred Heart, Connie is responsible for creating donor opportunities to enhance giving for the Parish, the Academy and the SHA Foundation. She can be reached at 989.772.1385 or