New Leadership Coming to Several Diocesan Schools
August 9, 2018
DIOCESE—Several leadership positions at Rockford Diocese schools this year will be filled by new people.
Among them is Vito DeFrisco, assistant superintendent of schools for the diocese, who will also be acting as interim superintendent at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.
DeFrisco’s work as assistant superintendent  involves curriculum, assessment and school recognition.
He has worked both inside and outside of the Diocese of Rockford during his career, including serving as development director at Marian Central from July 1994 to June 1998.
Among previous positions, he was an adjunct member of the faculty at Dominican University, teaching classes in the master of arts in educational administration program, for several years until 2014.
In the Rockford Diocese DeFrisco served as director, assistant principal and business manager at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and School in Crystal Lake from June 1999 to June 2006 
He received an award for being a “Distinguished Principal” from the National Catholic Educational Association in April 2015.
Under his leadership in 2014, a Catholic school outside the diocese received a National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education.
His bachelor’s degree in business communication is from DePaul University in Chicago. He holds a master’s in educational administration from Dominican University, and his education includes Catholic School Coordinator of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago, June 2006.
Most recently he studied “Data Wise — School Improvement Process” at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in June 2014.
DeFrisco attended Catholic  elementary, high school and college and says Catholic education is “very important” to his and his wife’s family. 
“I believe we prepare students well, not only spiritually but also academically, and I believe (a Catholic education) is the best gift a student can receive,” he says. 
Indeed, education runs in the family. His daughter, Brenna O’Hearn is among several new principals who will begin work at diocesan schools this year. O’Hearn will lead St. Margaret Mary School in Algonquin.
Other new principals are Becky Ward at St. Peter in Geneva, Brenda Baldassano at St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg, Guy Herman at St. Mary in Sycamore, and Jennifer Oetting at Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling.
At the new Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy will be Sister Ann Brummel, head of school, and Karen Behrens, principal.
As of press time, St. Anne School in Dixon and St. Mary School in Elgin, had principal vacancies.