WASHINGTON -- Raymond Burnell, a California educator, has been named to head the U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Catholic School Parent Associations.
He assumes his new position in February, succeeding Kenneth John Dupre, who left the position on permanent disability, after suffering a heart attack last year.
Before accepting this position, Mr. Burnell was principal of St. Patrick Catholic School, Arroyo Grande, California, 1990-1997. Previously he taught at Palma Catholic High School, Salinas, California, and was Public Affairs Director for the Tempe (Arizona) Chamber of Commerce.
He holds two master's degrees, one in education from the University of San Francisco, and the second in public administration from Arizona State University.
The USCC Office for Catholic School Parent Associations was established in 1994. The office helps dioceses and states form associations of Catholic school parents and provides assistance to those groups already established in support of educational policy positions of the USCC, state Catholic conferences and dioceses.
The office also serves as a clearinghouse providing information, promotion materials, technical and legal assistance, existing models, training and a network of contacts to facilitate reaching legislative goals. In addition, the office coordinates the National Coalition of Catholic School Parent Associations to facilitate parental legislative networking.
The 1994 establishment of the office marked a key effort by parents seeking to exercise their right to choice in education for their children.
The Parent Associations Office is one of five within the USCC Education Department. The other offices focus on federal assistance, higher education and campus ministry, catechesis and multi-cultural concerns, and catechesis and leadership development.