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Mary Kate Blaine

Principal

What is your favorite thing about Visi?

The people! The wisdom of the Sisters, the generosity of the faculty and staff, and the kindness and creativity of the students. All amaze me day after day. I also have a soft spot for the simple beauty of the Chapel and the view of campus and the city from the hill leading towards McNabb Field.

What makes the school unique?

The depth of relationships, especially between teachers and students, and students within and across grades. Our models of Mary and Elizabeth, and also St. Jane and St. Francis, help us understand what holy friendship is all about. Also, fides et scientia. Faith and knowledge go together at Visitation, as our Latin motto states. We nurture character through intellectual endeavor and ask always how God is calling us to be our best selves in service to others.

Which is your favorite Little Virtue?

Gratitude. When we truly look around and acknowledge the good in our lives, it is impossible not to see God everywhere—even in our challenges. Gratitude helps center me in my work, and nurtures a spirit of optimism and a desire to be generous to others as a way to say “thanks” back to God.

How do our students and faculty inspire you?

My students inspire me when they are kind and attentive friends; when they cooperate to create magic, inside and outside the classroom; and when they deepen their relationship with God, helped by those around them. Our dedicated faculty have a passion for helping our students and for their subject matter, and this shines through their lessons and interactions. Visi teachers’ love of learning and serving fosters these qualities in our students.

What would you want prospective families to know about Visitation?

This is the place for your daughters to grow, question, make friends, think, pray, laugh, and learn. Girls lead at Visitation and leave us prepared for college and beyond. (I love my three brothers with all of my heart, but you can just do really great things at school when the boys aren't around!)

What do you do outside of school for fun?

I am a slow but stubborn runner, with nine marathons under my belt. I appreciate political punditry, being a tourist anywhere (even at home), all kinds of music, and the Philadelphia Eagles (even when they break my heart).

Kate has been at Visitation since 2013. Immediately prior to coming to Visitation, she served as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. Previously, she taught social studies, served as a department chair, and led curriculum development initiatives at an all-girls Catholic high school in lower Manhattan. Throughout her career, she has maintained a longstanding relationship with the Gilder Lehrman Institute, supporting teacher-training efforts. She holds two graduate degrees from Columbia University, an Ed.M. in Private School Leadership and an M.A. in History & Education, and a B.A. in American Studies from Fordham University.


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