The Good News: May 2024

Award recipients pose with Bishop Bonnar
Photo by Brian Keith


The Golden Apple Awards, which honor outstanding teachers and principals in the Diocese of Youngstown’s Catholic schools, will be presented in a ceremony on May 1 at the Youngstown Country Club. This year’s recipients are Elizabeth “Betty” McCullough (principal at St. Nicholas School in Struthers), Jennifer Burke (teacher at Sts. Philip and James School in Canal Fulton) Jacqulyn DiNardo (teacher at St. Nicholas School in Struthers), Michael Klockner (teacher at John F. Kennedy Catholic School Upper Campus in Warren), Michelle Margroff (teacher at St. Paul School in North Canton), Shawn Mark (teacher at John F. Kennedy Catholic School Upper Campus in Warren) and Kimberly Ricchetti (teacher at St. Michael the Archangel School in Canton).


The Diocese of Youngstown has hired Steven Jones, Ph.D., as its new superintendent of Catholic Schools. Jones spent more than 20 years in professional education. Most recently, he served the past 11 years as director of St. Joseph Catholic High School in Greenville, South Carolina. Jones was also an academic dean at St. Joseph Catholic School from 2013 to 2018. Prior to that, he was an adjunct instructor of sociology at Greenville South Carolina Technical College, then associate professor of sociology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2013. He began his career as a managing director for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. 

Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Houston Baptist University. He then earned a Master of Theological Studies at the Divinity School at Duke University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Virginia. Jones is a husband and father of five children. He was raised in Texas, but has spent time in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North and South Carolina. He will start on June 17, 2024. Current superintendent Mary Fiala, who has served the Diocese of Youngstown for more than four decades, is retiring at the end of the school year.


The Office of Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment presented Eagle of the Cross Awards to teens in the six counties of the Diocese of Youngstown who model Christian discipleship and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership in their school and parish communities. The awards were presented in a ceremony on April 30 to 21 students from across the diocese.


In celebration of their 150th anniversary, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown released a book, The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown: Serving the Mahoning Valley since 1874, authored by local journalist and historian Thomas Welsh, who is a contributor to The Echo. The 221-page narrative, which features dozens of images, draws upon archival data and numerous interviews with people across the Mahoning Valley connected to the Ursuline Sisters. The book is being sold in several places online, including Amazon and Arcadia Publishing.


The second annual Bishop’s Golf Classic, which supports diocesan seminarians, will be held at Youngstown Country Club on Tuesday, August 6. The event includes an 18-hole scramble, breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, and many special contests, raffles and prizes. Sponsorship opportunities and teams are still available, but they sold out last year. Visit for tickets.

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