A veteran educator with a wealth of school administration experience has been appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Michael C. LaFever, Ed.D, president of St. Benedict School in Eggertsville, will assume the leadership of Catholic Schools in the diocese effective June 29, upon the retirement of Sister Carol Cimino, SSJ.
"I am confident that Mike brings with him the skills, values and experience necessary to take on this critical leadership role within the Diocese of Buffalo," said Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo. "He understands the importance of strengthening the Catholic identity of our schools while ensuring that our students are well educated, technologically adept, and compassionate members of our communities. In addition, he is committed to accessibility and the sustainability of our schools. Mike has a wealth of experience in a variety of educational settings which I know will serve him very well as he seeks to build upon the excellent work of his predecessor, Sister Carol Cimino, SSJ. I look forward to working with Mike and extend a warm welcome to him as he joins our Diocesan leadership team!"
Since becoming principal/president of St. Benedict School in 2015, LaFever has been a driving force in growing student enrollment by more than 50% at the Eggertsville school. Dr. LaFever spent the previous eight years at Trocaire College in South Buffalo as dean of program development and enrollment management, and later as administrative officer for administration & auxiliary services. Prior to his service at Trocaire, he was superintendent of schools for two public districts: South Country Central School District in East Patchogue, N.Y., and Ellicottville Central Schools. He was director of curriculum, instruction & staff development for the Tonawanda City School District, director of tech prep for Niagara County Community College, and an adjunct faculty member at Buffalo State College.
"I am excited to be able to serve the schools of our diocese and to continue the positive direction that Sister Carol has worked so hard to create over the last five years as our educational leader," said LaFever. "The Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Buffalo are centers of excellence in both teaching and learning and I will do all that I can to support this mission. To be a part of this faith-based learning environment that enriches the lives and personal growth of students is a professional experience I am eager to start."
LaFever was also an elementary school principal in the Elba Central School District in Elba, and New Hartford Central Schools in New Hartford, N.Y., and an elementary school teacher in the Olean City School District. He is a member of St. Christopher Parish in Tonawanda and a member of the Bishop's Council of the Laity. He was born in Olean, NY and earned his educational doctorate in organizational leadership from the State University of New York at Buffalo; a master's in educational administration from St. Bonaventure University, and both bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education from Buffalo State College.
Sister Carol Cimino is retiring after five years as superintendent of the 34 diocesan elementary schools. In that time, the STREAM program of the Buffalo Diocese has become a model that other Catholic school districts around the country are following as an effective and creative roadmap for integrating science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math. For more information, visit www.wnycatholicschools.org