ACES, Xavier could merge July 1
Single board would be formed to run entire Appleton school system
By Joanne Flemming
The proposed merger between Appleton's Catholic Education System
and Appleton's Xavier High School could occur by July 1.
On that date, the boards that oversee ACES and Xavier could be
dissolved and a single board of trustees for the entire pre-K to
12 system would be formally created, said Jim Sweeney,
spokesperson for the merger's corporate committee.
"I don't know if we are going to make it but that's the
timeline," Sweeney said.
Right now the corporate committee is looking for 13 to 15 people
to serve as trustees. It has also set up an ad hoc committee to
develop a job description for the new system's president and
begin a national search for that person.
According to that timeline, Sweeney noted, the new president
would ideally be hired by the start of the 2001-2002 school year.
He pointed out a couple concerns the corporate committee faces in
setting up the new board:
One, the present ACES and Xavier boards are made up of
representatives from the parishes the systems serve.
The new board would not be a representative board, but rather a
"board of expertise," Sweeney said. Members would be chosen for
the contributions they could make.
He said that Bob Shea, Shea Consulting of Dallas, advised the
corporate committee to "cast the net even wider than the
immediate area" when conducting that search.
The corporate committee hired Shea to help plan the upcoming
Two, because Xavier is a regional high school, representatives
on its board came from parishes outside Appleton as well as the
city. Those parishes have "always had a significant say and
involvement in the Xavier board," said Sweeney.
"We want to make sure we maintain that regional contact and
regional feel," Sweeney said.
He added that the corporate committee is considering keeping
representatives from all parishes involved by asking them to
serve on advisory committees for the new president.
Sweeney said the corporate committee was created about five years
ago for joint fundraising for ACES and Xavier. At that time, ACES
was considering the need for a new St. Joseph Middle School.
Xavier was contemplating remodeling and other capital projects.
The corporate committee reports to the corporate board which is
composed of Bp. Robert Banks and the pastors from the parishes
that own ACES schools and Xavier.
Once they are recruited, the biggest issue the new trustees will
face, the spokesperson continued, will be "long-term financial
liability" and the need to look for increased funding outside
Parish subsidies make up 40% of the ACES' budget and 20 % of