SJA welcomes new vice principal

St. Joseph Academy is strengthening its leadership team with the appointment of longtime educator and administrator Dana Yates as the new vice principal.

Yates has 26 years experience as an educator and administrator. Most recently she was the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Mercedes Independent School District. She begins work Wednesday at SJA.

“Saint Joseph Academy is excited to have Dr. Yates join the administration team as vice-principal with the goal of bringing a renewed focus to our academic program and teacher growth. With the upcoming implementation of SJA’s Dual Enrollment Educational Partnership program and the school’s academic preparations — both for in-person and distance learning — this was the ideal time to add someone with Dr. Yates’ skill set and experience,” SJA President Michael Motyl said.

Yates also has served as director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Raymondville Independent School District, middle school and high school principal for Lyford Consolidated Independent School District, instructor for the University of Texas at Brownsville and classroom teacher for various Rio Grande Valley school districts.

With her prior experience, Yates looks forward to collaborating with Saint Joseph Academy’s faculty to enhance and strengthen all forms of instruction, including distance learning, which was the “new normal” in schools during these last few months.

“ In my 26 years of educational experience, I have seen a shift from the traditional face-to-face classroom experience to a more blended learning experience through the use of online resources. The shift has been slow for various reasons, but with the most recent disruption in the educational setting, schools were forced to assess their capability to offer online learning.” Yates said. “As the district-level administrator charged with designing the distance learning plan, I collaborated with campus and district leaders to assess the district’s capacity to offer online instruction as part of the distance learning plan and look forward to bringing these experiences to my new role.”

Saint Joseph Academy is a faith-based college preparatory school in Brownsville for grades 7-12, with a 100% college acceptance rate and a 150-year tradition of high educational and moral standards. Since the end of the Civil War, Saint Joseph Academy has been providing Catholic education to children of the lower Rio Grande Valley and Mexico, helping to prepare young men and women for university studies and life beyond. The learning environment at Saint Joseph Academy forms students as critical thinkers with humanitarian hearts.