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 has been the Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish for eight years. He recently celebrated his 40th jubilee as a priest, and led Sacred Heart’s “All Are Welcome” capital campaign for interior improvements. The campaign raised three times its original goal, and resulted in a variety of additional improvements to the church, including one-of-a-kind mural artwork installed in the vestibule of the church. 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 the 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 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 two daughters currently enrolled at the Academy and a daughter that recently 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 successfully funded 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 email@example.com or (989) 772-1457.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Admissions and Marketing
A Sacred Heart Parishioner, mom of four SHA grads and the best volunteer you could ever want on any effort or project, Mary Kay Reetz is a natural in her role as Director of Admissions and Marketing at Sacred Heart Academy. She has held the position since 2005, witnessing both a decline and great growth in the enrollment at the Academy. She puts her passion for faith and education into her recruitment role and is a true leader within the Sacred Heart community. Mary Kay has a background in finance and business, holding both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She was previously employed at CMU in Human Resources and excels at communications and information management. She and her husband Dave have three sons and one daughter, all “lifers” at Sacred Heart. A volunteer for numerous organizations and benefit causes, Mary Kay is a true live-by-example person. She especially enjoys helping at SHA athletic events and activities, including chairing the school’s SHAgala dinner/auction for several years and organizing the annual Catholic Schools Week Soup Supper outreach fundraiser. She can be reached at 989.772-1457 or email@example.com.