Unity Board

Unity Board Organization Members: The following individuals are serving as the Officers of the Unity Board.

  • President: Kris Vrooman
  • Vice President: Mike Mangers
  • Secretary: Suzanne Greenquist

Meetings: Unity Board meetings are typically held on the third Monday of each month during the school year.

August 2017 Unity Board Minutes - click here

June 2017 Unity Board Meeting Summary

The Hastings Catholic Schools Unity Board met on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 8:00 for a regular meeting. The following incoming and outgoing members were recognized:

Outgoing: Incoming:
Dave Hamburger (STC) Marlene Burkhart (STC)
Shari Kuzelka (STC) Michael Schaefer (STC)
Jamie Schmidt (STM) Logan Pritchard (STM)

Executive Elections:
Chair: Kris Vrooman
Vice Chair: Mike Mangers
Secretary: Suzanne Greenquist

The Unity Board discussed highlights from the year and committee accomplishments:

Faith Committee: The committee successfully implemented a group from the school to either perform, help serve, or interact with the parishioners during the monthly Coffee and Rolls at both parishes. A Prayer Warrior project was implemented. The committee also helps Campus Ministry (helping on service days, helping plan retreats, helping with special events like the last Wednesday Holy Hour).

Enrollment & Marketing: Two goals they focused on were the ambassador program development with the first part of that process being data collection from other schools and how their enrollment and marketing programs work. The other goal was Hispanic Outreach. There is also a subcommittee of preschool recruitment that formed in January/February to focus on the preschool age children that is similar to a peer-to-peer outreach.

School Experience: Drafted/Revised and presented to the Unity Board for adoption the Middle and High School Community Service Policy, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy, and the Bullying/Harassment Policy.

Finance: Presented the proposed budget in January/February. Next year's focus will be on the five-year plan and work with the Advancement Office more in the upcoming year.

Academic Committee: Developed an approach to accommodate the different grading system that has come down from the diocese (quality points are no longer relevant) because of technology support limitations. Quality points and GPA helped generate one valedictorian and salutatorian. Now there are criteria in place for an application for best living out the mission and meeting other criteria for two awards to replace valedictorian and salutatorian. There is also recognition as distinction and high distinction.

Buildings and Grounds Committee: Installed lift, camera system, and found a Director of Maintenance (Craig Hubbard) accomplishing all three goals they set for the year.

Other highlights from the year: The fruits of Campus Ministry are evident, increasing holy hour attendance. The family participation plan was very successful. B.L.U.E. was very successful.

Father Brouillette gave an update on the staffing for the upcoming school year and discussed the purchase of two new to us buses all under budget. Administrators went to a Theology of the Body training. A lot of this will be implemented in curriculum (age-appropriate) in the diocese.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 21 at 7:00 PM.


History of the Unity Board

The Unity Board was developed in 2011 out of a need to connect the local school community and the school administration, foster better communication and active cooperation, and develop a more structured system. The Board was developed at that time to reverse the negative enrollment, financial, and school culture trend and to strategically plan for the bright future of Hastings Catholic Schools. Thanks to the grace of God and these efforts, the Unity Board, school, and parishes are pleased to report strong positive trends for HCS!

The following is a brief timeline highlighting the history of the Unity Board and its accomplishments:

2011 Initiated HCS Community-Wide Discussions
2011 Held First Elections
2011 Developed By-Laws
2011 Developed Unity Board Committees
2011 Began Annual Appeal and Consolidation of Fundraising
2011 Began Having a Balanced Budget
2012 Presented and Implemented Tuition Policy
2012 Adopted a New School Crest/Logo
2012 Hired an Enrollment Coordinator
2013 Hired Lay Person as St. Michael's Principal
2013 Purchased CRM Software, Little Green Light, to Better Track Fundraising and Enrollment Efforts
2013 Decided to Pursue Implementation of Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline
2014 Began Strategic Plan Development with Input from a Cross-Section of Stakeholders
2014 Implemented a Child Care Program
2014 Developed and Adopted a Co-Op Policy
2014 Enrollment Trend Was Positive for First Time in 10 Years
2014 Implemented Campus Ministry
2014 Dedicated Staff Time to Campus Ministry (0.5 FTE)
2014 Paid Off Over $1 Million in Debt Over Past 4 Years
2015 St. Cecilia Principal and Assistant Principal Position Combined, Served by Lay Person
2015 Paid Off St. Michael's School Loan
2016 Hired Advancement Director
2016 Implemented Family Participation Plan (SignUp Genius)
2016 Conducted Feasibility Study Regarding Future Building Project and Teacher Pay and Benefits
2016 Implemented a Buildings and Grounds Committee
2017 Hired Director of Maintenance
2017 Continued to Acquire Property for Campus Purposes
2017 Began Danielson Framework for Faculty Evaluation Process
2017 Installed a Chair Lift at St. Cecilia Middle School to Improve Building Accessibility

Purpose of the Unity Board

  • Study and investigate issues relevant to the operation of HCS including, but not limited to, finance, facilities, faith, school experience, and enrollment and marketing
  • Assist the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO - formerly called Superintendent) in his duties by providing advice and serving as a sounding board
  • Serve as a conduit of communication between the school administration and the school community
  • Act as an energetic and dynamic leadership group to advance the vision of the Hastings Catholic School system and to advise and assist the CAO in his duties as the delegate of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Lincoln and administrator of the schools, by designing, authoring, and approving policies that will be recommended to be used to guide and shape the operations of HCS

Unity Board Committees

  1. Executive Committee (composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, CAO, St. Cecilia Parish Pastor, and St. Michael's Parish Pastor)
    • HCS Handbook and Policy Committee
    • Strategic Planning
    • Human Resources
    • Research
  2. Finance
    • Income Development
    • Capital Development
  3. Faith
    • Stewardship and Catholic Identity
  4. School Experience
    • Academic Development
    • Activities
    • Diversity Outreach
  5. Facilities
    • Buildings and Grounds Committee
  6. Enrollment and Marketing
    • Community Relations

Additionally a Unity Board representative from the St. Cecilia and St. Michael's Parishes will be requested to also represent the Unity Board at Parish Council meetings.