NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP >> Villa Joseph Marie High School's mission is committed to helping young women discern who they are and grow into the disciples God calls them to be, as revealed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The legacy of its foundress, the Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, and the Sisters of St. Casimir inspire its students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to take advantage of a challenging environment and nurturing community.
The school celebrates the dignity and uniqueness of each student and empowers women through faith, education, and service. And it does this in the spirit of "Always more, always better, always with love."
Since March, Villa Joseph Marie has been on a journey to find the most qualified individual to fill the role of Interim President and to continue its mission. The Villa Joseph Marie Board of Directors is pleased to announce that they have found that individual in Dr. Karen Kenkel.
Karen attended a Catholic high school and earned her BA degree with Distinction from Stanford University. She later went on to Cornell University, where she earned her MA in German Studies and Ph.D. in German Studies with minors in history and film.
Amongst her many awards and honors, she was awarded a Berlin Fulbright Fellowship and membership into Phi Beta Kappa.
In 1994, Karen became an Assistant Professor of German Studies at Stanford University. Starting in 2008, she taught elementary school for several years before becoming an instructor at Stanford Online High School, where she designed and taught high school and college-level courses in philosophy, history, English, and film. While there, she also served as Head of Humanities, Philosophy, and Acting Head of Instruction.
Since 2016, Karen has been the Founding Director of the Quest Forward Academy. This Academy is part of a network of schools supported by the Opportunity Education Foundation, which is funded by the Catholic entrepreneur, Joe Ricketts.
As the founding head, she has managed every aspect of the high school: friend- and fund-raising; admissions; marketing; innovative curriculum development; and staff recruitment, training, and supervision. She has also created new systems, policies, and procedures, and cultivated a strong leadership team that allowed her to focus on strategic initiatives and community outreach.
As Interim President of Villa, effective July 19, Karen's focus will be to provide the foundation to achieve Villa’s vision, as outlined in the school’s strategic plan. She will also actively participate in student and alumnae activities, and reach out to the community, as she has done so well throughout her career. Doing so will increase school spirit and faith in Christ to the highest levels.
In addition, she will manage the inspiration of Villa’s student population, increase diversity, and facilitate the improvement of the school's infrastructure. With the community's help and prayers, Karen will do this through extensive, candid and personal communication, hard work, and outstanding role modeling of "Always more, Always better, Always with love."
Now in its 89th year, Villa Joseph Marie currently serves more than 400 students in grades 9-12. For more information about Villa Joseph Marie, visit www.vjmhs.org or call 215-357-8810.