The Diocese of La Crosse is divided into 13 regions, known as deaneries. The Bishop appoints one priest to serve as Dean, guiding the clergy and ministries of each deanery. In deaneries with a unified Catholic school system, the Dean is invested with pastoral authority for the schools to make sure they operate in conformity with Canon Law, maintain a strong Catholic identity, promote authentic faith development, and operate with strong leadership and sound management. The current Dean of the La Crosse Deanery is Rev. Msgr. Steven Kachel.
The Education Commission is established by the Dean to assist him and the President in the operation and governance of Aquinas Catholic Schools. The commission helps ensure that the school system is operating responsibly, effectively, and efficiently, and planning appropriately to ensure that our mission will continue to be fulfilled well into the future. There are several standing committees of the Education Commission that oversee the areas of policy, finance, and marketing.
Responsibilities of the ACS Education Commission:
Strategic and long term planning
Public relations and marketing
Oversight of business operations and financial affairs, including fundraising and development
Consult and advise the dean and president on various matters
Evaluation of the president
The school system serves as a joint ministry of the fourteen Catholic parishes of the La Crosse Deanery. Each of these parishes is represented on the Commission by its pastor and an appointed lay person. In addition, other stakeholder groups responsible for the spiritual or financial operation of the schools also appoint representatives. These groups include the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation, Inc., the Aquinas Booster Club, Aquinas Music Parents Association, and Directors of the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools and Office of Consecrated Life. Employees or spouses of ACS employees are ineligible to serve on the Commission. If you are interested in serving on the Commission or would like to nominate another person, please contact your pastor or the leader of one of our member organizations.
The Commission generally meets every other month on the second Thursday during the school year at 4:30 p.m. A public input time is provided at the beginning of each Commission meeting and individuals interested in voicing opinions or questions must make their intent known, in writing, to the ACS Central Office prior to the meeting day.
Day to day operations of Aquinas Catholic Schools are primarily the responsibility of the President and senior administrative staff. The President supervises all staff, programs, and operations of the school system. He promotes positive internal and external community relations, helps strengthen development efforts, and oversees the finances of the system.
Principals & Directors
Curriculum and educational issues are the responsibility of school principals. Principals work closely with and under the direction of the system president, who is responsible for keeping stakeholders informed. ACS building administrators and central office directors attend Commission meetings to provide information and serve as advisors to commissioners, though they are not members of the Commission themselves.
Board of Trustees of Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation is an independent nonprofit corporation that does not have a direct role in the governance of the school system. Nonetheless, the administration works closely with the Board of Trustees which represents the interests of alumni and donors. The foundation provides significant annual funding, advice, and consultation to system leaders. Learn more about the Aquinas Foundation.