LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Dr. Joe Brettnacher, the principal of Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School, has announced he has accepted the position of superintendent of schools and Episcopal moderator of Catholic education for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.
The Lafayette Catholic School System announced on Thursday that Dr. Joe Brettnacher would be leaving Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School at the end of June. Brettnacher has been the principal of the school since 2005 and a nine year veteran of the Lafayette Catholic School System.
His new duties will include service on the Bishop’s council and oversight of 11 Catholic high schools, 42 Catholic elementary schools and the diocesan office of religious education and youth and young adult ministry.
Brettnacher said that he had been “blessed by God” to serve Central Catholic and the LCSS.
“The support that all members of the LCSS faculty and staff have given our students and me has been nothing short of remarkable,” Brettnacher said.
“It is my sincere hope that members of the LCSS community will favorably reflect upon my tenure with the Lafayette Catholic School System and Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School and the successes that we have achieved together,” he said.
LCSS Executive Director Eric Davis said, “It is difficult to put into words how much Dr. Brettnacher will be missed. His contributions to Central Catholic, our Lafayette Catholic schools, and the diocese are truly remarkable. Over the past nine years Joe has gone above and beyond in his dedication to Catholic education.”
Davis said that Brettnacher’s “genuine love of the students, teachers, staff and parents is evident. [He] is a true servant leader with a tireless commitment to Catholic education.”
During Brettnacher’s years at Central Catholic, enrollment grew to 400 students from 345, and the graduation rate was 100 percent. CC received an A ranking and was listed as a Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education. Two capital campaigns raised $6 million for renovations and additions.
Although he is leaving, Brettnacher called his relationship with the Lafayette diocese and its schools a “lifelong commitment.”
Before coming to Central Catholic, Brettnacher served as principal of Rossville High School in Rossville, Ind.; Marian High School in Mishawaka, Ind.; and Mount Olive High School in Mount Olive, Ill. Before that, he worked as a teacher, coach and mechanical engineer in Illinois and Indiana.
Brettnacher is a graduate of Jefferson High School in Lafayette. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from Michigan’s Andrews University in 2012, where he majored in leadership. He earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University-Northwest in 1984, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from Purdue University in 1979.
Brettnacher made the announcement on June 12 with an effective date of June 30. Davis is working closely with the Lafayette Catholic School System administration and Board of Directors to develop and execute a plan for a successor.