The current Archbishop Ryan president will oversee the operational side of Nazareth starting July 10.
Denise LePera is leaving as president of Archbishop Ryan High School to become the first president of Nazareth Academy High School.
LePera will begin her new job on July 10.
Earlier this year, the Nazareth Board of Trustees approved the implementation of the president-principal organizational model.
“What an honor and privilege to be chosen as the first president of Nazareth Academy High School,” LePera said. “Working together with Principal Sister Rita Fanning and with a mindset of managing for growth, leadership and innovation, our hope is to position Nazareth Academy High School as the premier center of secondary Catholic education in Philadelphia. With an unceasing commitment to educating the mind, body and spirit, along with an unparalleled dedication to academic excellence, the Nazareth experience will transform girls into young women prepared to be lifelong learners and leaders in a global society.
“Nazareth Academy High School began simply with the prayers of Blessed Frances Siedliska, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. For the Sisters, embracing faith, family and education is not just their mission; it’s how they live out that mission every day in everything they do. With their model, we challenge our young women to attain their full potential academically, spiritually and personally. For nearly 90 years, Nazareth Academy has exemplified excellence in college preparatory education.”
As president, LePera will oversee the operational side of Nazareth Academy: marketing, development, advancement, admissions and finance. Sister Rita Fanning will continue to lead all aspects of academics, student life and athletics.
“I am most impressed that Nazareth maintains a faculty/student ratio of 9 to 1, while offering an array of robust AP courses, electives, art, music and athletic programs usually associated with larger schools,” LePera said.
LePera served as president of Ryan for three years. Previously, she was executive director of institutional advancement at Roman Catholic for six years. She spent 12 years in fundraising roles with Neumann University, her alma mater. She handled donor relations for the Philadelphia office of the American Cancer Society for four years.
LePera holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership and a bachelor’s in liberal studies, both from Neumann.
LePera is active on the Board of Limited Jurisdiction at St. Martha School and on the board of the Northeast Family YMCA.
She and her husband, Steve, are members of St. Ephrem Parish in Bensalem. They have two sons, Steve and Dan, both graduates of Ryan, and two granddaughters. ••