The Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings announced that it has named Patrick Haggarty as interim superintendent of its school system, which includes Billings Catholic Schools.
Haggarty will oversee schools in Billings, Great Falls, Livingston and Miles City, as well as on the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Peck Indian reservations. Since 2003, he has been the superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Helena diocese, which is in charge of Catholic schools in the western half of the state, including Missoula. He will keep that position in addition to his new duties.
"It’s the same duties, but now he has schools all the way to Miles City," said the Rev. Jay Peterson, vicar general of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.
Haggarty’s family has been involved in Catholic education in Montana since 1924, according to a press release from the diocese.
"The schools in our dioceses are like twin daughters of different mothers," Haggarty said in the press release. "We are different but very similar in all aspects of our mission and ministry to the Catholic communities of Montana."
He replaces former superintendent Harry Plummer, who left in June for a position with a diocese in Indiana, until a full-time replacement is hired. Peterson said Haggarty will act as superintendent throughout the 2010-2011 academic school year.
"We didn’t want to hurriedly fill the spot when Patrick was available in the interim," he said.
During the school year Haggarty, who is the northwestern U.S. representative for the National Catholic Education Association, will help find a permanent superintendent for the Great Falls-Billings diocese.