The search for our next president has begun.
With the retirement of current President, Connie Yunyk, at the end of July 2021, the search begins for a new leader to help write the next chapter of St. Mary’s Academy.
Our dedicated Search Committee has enlisted the expertise of Jane Griffith and Leaders International to ensure the highest quality candidates to fill this important leadership role. We have full confidence that the candidate we choose will lead our school into the future in faithfulness to its mission of education for young women. We go forward with the understanding that our commitment to faith, leadership and service remains at the heart of who we are. We thank Connie for her incredible dedication to St. Mary’s and embrace this new challenge with purpose and confidence.
Stay updated as we go forward.
Current Priorities, Challenges and Opportunities
Leaders International consulted with stakeholders and representatives, including members of the Search Committee, the Boards, school leadership, SNJM, and the parent community, regarding the current priorities, challenges, and opportunities for SMA’s next President. The following represents a high-level distillation of key themes that emerged from these consultations:
Cultivation of Trust & Relationships
The President will need to acquire an in depth understanding and appreciation of the culture, rhythm and cadence of SMA. The President will need to quickly earn and maintain trust with the SNJM, the Board, staff, faculty, parents, and alumnae, and with the Catholic and Winnipeg communities.
Support for Fundraising and Alumnae Engagement
The President will be called on to maintain and grow relationships and giving with donors and alumnae.
The President must continue to inspire an inclusive, empowered, student-centered environment, and ensure SMA remains faithful to the roots and legacy fostered by the SNJM.
Strategic and People Leadership
The next President must be a strong people leader and manager, and establish a professional, caring and best in class academic culture amongst staff and faculty. The President must provide strategic leadership and clear vision for SMA through the COVID 19 pandemic and afterwards. In consideration of both the immediate and future needs of SMA – the President must continue to adapt and evolve the school’s learning strategies and approaches (e.g. online / in-person learning, programing) as well as enrollment, culture, and community building (e.g. school events including those in the arts and sports).
Continued Innovation & Development of the Strategic Plan
The next President will be asked to envision, develop and implement a new strategic plan for SMA. The plan should chart an innovative course for SMA while also embedding the proud heritage, values, mission, traditions, and Charism of the institution.
St. Mary’s Academy is currently seeking a President to inspire and enthusiastically lead a school community of over 600 students, faculty and staff to achieve the Academy’s mission and vision.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President is the chief executive and oversees all matters concerning the operation and advancement of the Academy. The President leads the Principals & administrative leadership team and oversees all functions of the Academy including academics, finance, enrollment, advancement, community relations and represents the school in the Catholic and Winnipeg communities. The President is also the executive director of the St. Mary’s Academy Foundation.
The President will be an experienced, visionary leader with proven ability to work collaboratively in the development and execution of the vision. It is an exciting time at the Academy. The new President, operating from a position of strength, will have the opportunity to write the next chapter of the history of St. Mary’s.
In partnership with the Board of Directors, lead the Academy’s faculty and administration in the development and execution of a strategic plan, considering both short- and long-term objectives.
- Strategize, plan, and implement the effective and prudent stewardship of the Academy’s financial, human, and physical resources.
- Demonstrate strong financial acumen, including knowledge of investment management and corporate budgeting.
- Attract, lead and empower a strong educational faculty and administrative team ensuring critical support to school administration, school advancement, board governance, and business administration.
- Possess strong leadership and managerial skills. The President will build up an academic culture among staff and faculty that is professional and caring.
- Establish and maintain a strong relationship of trust with the SNJM, the SMA Boards, staff, faculty, parents, and alumnae, and the Catholic and Winnipeg communities.
Providing an environment and opportunities which encourage young women to identify and develop their talents and leadership potential.
St. Mary’s Academy Foundation
As the Executive Director of the St. Mary’s Academy Foundation, take a leadership role in fundraising and on-going capital initiatives. In particular, develop and enhance alumnae and community relations that contribute towards increased giving, so as to grow the bursary and capital funds that support the socio-economic diversity of students and assist the Foundation in achieving the Academy’s capital needs.
Academic Excellence & the Whole Person
- Nurture the Academy’s position as a premier educator of young women by fostering a culture of academic excellence.
- Lead the Principals of the Academy in delivering a high-quality curriculum.
- Foster a student-focused environment that will provide students with the support, experiences and academic strength they will need to achieve their postsecondary goals.
- Ensure the Academy continues to instill in each of its students an awareness of the importance of spiritual, emotional and physical, well-being as critical components of a healthy lifestyle.
Community & Charism
- Embrace the vision, mission, values and charism of the Academy, embracing its proud heritage with passionate commitment to an exciting future.
- Ensure the Academy remains faithful to the educational practices and traditions that the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary have fostered throughout the Academy’s history.
- Build upon the Academy’s foundation of excellence, stability, strength, and faith to ensure the continued advancement of St. Mary’s into the future.
- Provide active leadership and engagement within the school community.
- Be an active presence within the greater Catholic and Winnipeg communities, especially within the Archdiocese of Winnipeg.
- Establish and maintain effective communication and relationships with the diverse stakeholders of St. Mary’s Academy.
This critical appointment for St. Mary’s calls for a strategic, collaborative and forward thinking leader – someone who is energized by the opportunity to deliver on the mandate of the SMA portfolio, in support of strengthening and protecting the institution’s brand and supporting faith-based student learning practices.
While the search committee recognizes that no one individual will possess all of these qualifications in equal measure, the ideal President candidate should possess the following attributes and experiences:
Education, Professional Qualifications
- Undergraduate degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
- Practicing Catholic, strong in faith, committed to Catholic education while simultaneously open minded and respectful of all faiths.
- Solid background in academic leadership at the senior level or on an intentional path to leadership by means of formal education and experiences in advancement and fundraising.
- Demonstrated financial acumen, budgeting experience, fundraising ability.
- Demonstrated experience interacting with a Board of Directors and/or senior management team regarding operational and strategic issues.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Attributes
- Ability to make mission-driven decisions with excellent strategic, organizational and managerial skills.
- Passionate commitment to fostering a student-centric academic environment focused on excellence.
- Ability to communicate effectively, foster community spirit, and network with other professionals.
- Strong human resource management skills.
St. Mary’s Academy operates in Winnipeg, which is within the territories of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. Winnipeg is home to one of the largest and fastest growing Indigenous populations in Canada.
Today, Winnipeg is a community and home to over 790,000 people (Tourism Winnipeg), known for its friendly and welcoming spirit. A vibrant, culturally diverse, and endlessly fascinating city situated in picturesque Manitoba, Canada, Winnipeg boasts of ultra modern big-city urban living coupled with a distinctly warm and traditional small-town feel. Over the last decades, Winnipeg has developed into a cosmopolitan city complete with top-notch restaurants, swanky boutiques, attractions and an arts and culture scene that bursts with talent and originality.
Bringing together a rich ethno-cultural mix of individuals from around the world, Winnipeg is the seventh largest city in Canada, and dominates the Manitoba economy. The city is home to one of Canada’ s largest urban Indigenous populations, near the geographic centre of North America.
Residents of Winnipeg enjoy easy, relatively rapid access to the downtown core from the neighbourhoods on the periphery of the downtown. Residential neighbourhoods offer affordable housing, and buyers from outside the province often discover their strong purchasing power in the local real estate market. Within city limits, there is a good bus system (including the ongoing development of Rapid Transit corridors), and Winnipeggers enjoy easy proximity to some of the most beautiful beach and lake front cottage areas in Canada.
Winnipeg’s economy is strong and stable, and is home to a robust and talented workforce. The city is known for its scientific breakthroughs, for bringing exciting new products and services to the marketplace, and for launching global companies. It is home to one of the most diverse economies in the country, hosting key industries which include financial services, transportation and distribution, aerospace, agribusiness, energy and environment, advanced manufacturing, communications and technology, and creative industries.
Manitoba boasts an abundance of opportunities for recreation and leisure across the province, and there are many natural outdoor environments that make Winnipeg a pleasant city to live in. The rivers in Winnipeg provide residents with a variety of recreational opportunities, which include boating or walking and cycling along the city’s river- walk system. The city also provides a scenic setting for several golf courses and regional parks, as well as many historic and traditional sites.
Winnipeg was recently ranked the 4th Best Place to Live in Canada by Moneysense.ca, is ranked Top 10 for Business Friendliness among mid-sized cities in the country, and is considered one of the most intelligent communities in the world.
“Winnipeg Facts.” Tourism Winnipeg, 31 Aug. 2020,
For more information about Winnipeg, please visit: www.travelmanitoba.com and www.tourismwinnipeg.com
St. Mary’s Academy encourages applications from individuals who identify as racialized, women, Indigenous persons, and persons with disabilities. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority. Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process by contacting Leaders International.
We thank all applicants for their interest, however only the candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.