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Nazareth Prep Welcomes New Executive Director and Head of School Rita Canton

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania  (June 23, 2020) – Pittsburgh high school Nazareth Prep has named Rita Canton as its new executive director and head of school. Canton brings more than 20 years of teaching and school leadership experience to her new role at the helm of the college and career preparatory school.

Nazareth Prep is an independent Catholic high school dedicated to providing an affordable, progressive education to students of all backgrounds. Through a rigorous yet personalized preparatory program and unique internship experience, Nazareth Prep prepares students for college and the workplace and empowers them as designers of the future.

Canton joins Nazareth Prep following four years as principal and head of school at Vincentian Academy, a distinguished Catholic high school in Pittsburgh. Prior to her tenure there, Canton served for six years as the principal at Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy, a parochial school in Wilkinsburg, Pa., that she helped to open in 2010. Canton’s high standards enabled Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy to become a model school for the nation.

“Rita has a track record of promoting excellence,” says Sister Linda Yankoski, president and CEO. “She joins Nazareth Prep during a year that has been uncertain and challenging for all educational institutions, and we can think of no one better to tackle these challenges and steer the school along a continued path of exceptional education.”

In addition to her experience as a school leader, Canton also has 15 years of elementary and secondary teaching experience. She worked for nine years as a mathematics teacher and campus minister at North Catholic High School, where she helped plan the liturgies, prayers and faculty and student retreats and acted as the liaison between the school and the Diocese Department of Religious Education.  

Canton’s educational background includes a master’s degree in science education and secondary mathematics certification from Chatham University, a master of theology degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and a certification in educational administration from the University of Scranton. Her studies in pastoral theology at Xavier University focused on Black spirituality and social justice issues such as ethnic and racial disparities in education, racism, gender equality, classism and poverty in light of faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“I am blessed to join Nazareth Prep, a school whose commitment to social justice and to cultivating the whole student – academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually – aligns with my own,” says Canton. “I look forward to working with the students of Nazareth Prep as they grow into the deeply educated and community-minded leaders of tomorrow.”

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About Nazareth Prep: Nazareth Prep is a progressive, independent Catholic high school focused on college and career readiness. The school partners with families and uses evidence-based practices to equip each student for success. Through a real-world rigorous yet personalized college preparatory program and unique internship program, Nazareth Prep students build skills that will serve them throughout their lives.