St. Basil Academy in Abington announced yesterday that it has named a new principal.
Theresa Ryan-Szott was appointed the school’s first lay principal; historically, the position of principal has always been held by a member of the Order of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, according to a press release from the school.
Ryan-Szott replaces Helen Chaykowsky, a St. Basil Academy alumnus, who has held the position since September.
Educated in the elementary and secondary schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Ryan-Szott graduated cum laude from Wheeling Jesuit University with degrees in theology and history and obtained her master’s degree in religious studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Joseph University.
Ryan-Szott has held administrative positions at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School, Conwell-Egan Catholic High School; she is also a former teacher, having taught in Catholic schools in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Most recently, Ryan-Szott was the Director of Secondary Personnel in the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
In her role at St. Basil Academy, Ryan Szott said she hopes to “carry on the educational mission and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Basil and the teachings of the Church and to academically prepare (our) daughters to make a difference in the world. We are a faith- based school that educates the whole person, providing an atmosphere that is academically challenging, spiritually nourishing and socially enriching. An all-girls school such as St. Basil’s provides a setting for growth, empowerment and the opportunity to form women leaders in accord with the teachings of Jesus and the Church.”
Ryan-Szott, who lives in Southampton, will begin Feb. 4, the opening of the new semester.