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Mary Pat Schlickenmaier
Saint Rita Catholic School
Diocese of Arlington
Alexandria, Virginia

In her seventeen years at Saint Rita Catholic School, Principal Mary Pat Schlickenmaier has used innovative approaches to create a vibrant community based on support, respect, and faith. Several years ago, the enrollment at Saint Rita was low with just 163 students. In an effort to increase the population, Schlickenmaier developed plans for a preschool program based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. As a result, Saint Rita now has 215 K-8 students and forty-one preschoolers. By working with the community, Schlickenmaier has been able to secure additional resources including Title I services funded by Virginia and D.C., and a fully-equipped Science lab with the help of local businesses. She accepted the offer for Saint Rita to be a pilot school for the Rowland Reading Foundation's Superkids Reading Program; the school was also one of the first in the area to hire a Development Director, an essential position in the absence of an assistant principal or secretary. In 2010, Saint Rita was named a “top school” by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. In 2009, Schlickenmaier received the Twenty-Five-Year Service Award from the Diocese of Arlington and a Distinguished Alumni award from the National Catholic Educational Association. She is the current president of the Arlington Principals Association. She holds a B.S. from Loyola University and an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia.