I have been blessed to have Keating Associates’ expertise at Saint Mary’s High School during defining changes in school governance and mission. Steve Keating’s understanding and commitment to Catholic education was key to our success in creating and developing Saint Mary’s unique story and position for school advancement.
Grace Cavallo President, Schools of St. Mary
Schools of St. Mary
Setting a School Apart from its Competition
An integral part of St. Mary's Parish in Manhasset, New York, these vibrant Catholic elementary and high schools serve a diverse student population from both Nassau County and Queens (NYC) amidst strong competition from highly regarded local public schools, other Catholic and private schools, and a growing number of charter high schools.
Why They Came to Us
St. Mary’s High School had recently moved to a new President/Principal leadership model, and faced with the need to revitalize the school’s image in order to stimulate stronger enrollment growth, the new President contacted us to conduct an audit of the School’s brand. This work unearthed several core challenges and opportunities, and recommended a new brand platform on which St. Mary’s could build a more robust, relevant, and performance-driven identity.
Stemming from our brand assessment, we encouraged St. Mary’s High School to leverage on its core philosophical goals and proven academic strengths, anchoring the brand around the promise of innovative learning, personal moral and faith formation, and leadership development. These existing core strengths and commitments were not being sufficiently leveraged and developed to create distinctive brand presence, to both galvanizein ternal stakeholders and attract external students and supporters.
A new St. Mary’s HS brand was developed and launched, and over several years, integrated across all messaging and school communications. A revitalized admissions marketing campaign, incorporating new collateral, advertising, Open House programming, video, and digital communications reached and engaged an expanded number of prospective students and families, resulting in steady annual admissions growth and a stronger public image.
Our work next extended to the parish elementary school, with similar work done in assessing school strengths and challenges and recommending a new brand positioning that also complemented the high school’s identity. A new website was created to more powerfully capture the school’s vibrant learning experiences.
With stronger brand connection between St. Mary’s High School and Elementary School, the institution moved to bring the two parish schools together under a shared identity and governance model -- The Schools of St. Mary. We worked to engage school stakeholders and audiences with the meaning and promise of this new identity, and led school leadership and board governance in a strategic planning workshop to explore further potential linkages and strategic positioning opportunities.