A veteran Catholic educator has joined the Diocese of Orange as associate superintendent of Curriculum, Spirituality and Accreditation.
Dr. Denise Valadez, a principal in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is set to join the Diocese of Orange this month.
In her new role, Dr. Valadez will assist Dr. Erin Barisano, superintendent of schools, in coordinating resources to Orange County Catholic schools, personnel and programs by coordinating curriculum and accreditation, along with student and educator spiritual growth. Dr. Valadez will also oversee professional staff development in education and faith formation, and special education needs and intervention.
“The addition of Denise is critically important to the continued development of our Catholic schools,” said Dr. Erin Barisano, superintendent of Catholic schools. “The investment in this new position is vital to help move forward the key initiatives outlined in the school sustainability task force. Our overriding goal is to expand our outreach and engagement with our Catholic youth in a faith-filled, rigorous academic setting.”
Bishop Nguyen, who supports Dr. Barisano in school oversight, said: “Denise is truly dedicated to Catholic education and approaches her job with energy and enthusiasm, truly modeling the life of Christ as disciples of our faith. She will be a great addition to our school leadership team.”
Dr. Valadez credited Dr. Barisano and Diocese leaders for crafting a clear vision for the Office of Catholic Schools.
“Dr. Barisano has a clear vision of growth and I look forward to supporting that,” Dr. Valadez said. “I look forward to building a culture of collaboration and building faith, excellence, and stewardship in our schools. Our schools are called to academic excellence and spiritual excellence because we are a Catholic school system.”
Dr. Valadez grew up attending San Gabriel Mission Elementary School and Ramona Convent Secondary School. Her family made the sacrifice to send her to Catholic schools.
“I am truly grateful for the experiences that taught me values and virtues,” Dr. Valadez said. “Those experiences have led to my calling as a servant leader, grounded in faith.”
Dr. Valadez received her doctoral degree in education from the University of Southern California. She holds a master’s of arts degree from Loyola Marymount University and a bachelor’s of arts degree from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Dr. Valadez started her teaching career in 2003 at San Gabriel Mission Elementary School as a junior high religion teacher. In 2007, she was named vice principal at Saint Luke School in Temple City. From 2011 to 2013 she served as the principal of Saints Felicitas and Perpetua School in San Marino. She served as principal of Saint Louise de Marillac School in Covina prior to joining the Diocese of Orange Office of Catholic Schools. Dr. Valadez and her family reside in Huntington Beach and are parishioners at Saint Bonaventure. When Dr. Valadez is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family. She has a 10 month old daughter and an 11 year old step daughter.