St. Joan Antida High School has announced the appointment of René Howard-Páez as its new president, effective July 1. Howard-Páez brings a wealth of experience in talent and education leadership, and a fervent dedication to mentoring the youth of our community.

Howard-Páez’s journey has been filled with notable accomplishments, most recently serving as a field talent growth and development strategist at Northwestern Mutual where he spearheaded new campus engagement strategies, developed partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and revolutionized internship training and curriculum. Before his tenure at Northwestern Mutual, Howard-Páez spent nearly a decade enriching Catholic education in Milwaukee, specifically as the director of diversity and inclusion at Marquette University High School and as the founding director of admissions at Cristo Rey Jesuit Milwaukee.

Howard-Páez holds a master of science degree in the cultural foundations of education and community engagement from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also serves as the vice-chair of SJA’s board, showcasing his longstanding commitment to the school’s mission and values.

When asked about his new role, Howard-Páez said: “Stepping into the role of president at St. Joan Antida High School is an extraordinary honor. I am inspired by the incredible progress made under Marikris Coryell’s leadership and am excited to build upon her legacy. I look forward to enhancing SJA’s already inclusive and empowering environment, ensuring every student continues to excel and shine.”

As SJA welcomes Howard-Páez, it also extends heartfelt gratitude to current President Marikris Coryell. Coryell’s six-year tenure has been marked by significant achievements, including a remarkable 35-percent growth in enrollment. Also under her leadership, and with the dedication of faculty and staff, SJA transitioned to a career pathways program promoting curriculum concentrations in engineering, business and the health sciences. More than $1 million in facility renovations were made, and athletics and clubs were revived.

In addition to her tenure at SJA, Coryell has dedicated her talents as a volunteer for numerous Catholic educational institutions for more than 18 years. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for Notre Dame School of Milwaukee. She previously chaired the board of directors at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School and St. Dominic Parish’s School Board. She is also involved in the business community, serving on the MMAC education committee, and participating in various CEO groups and professional organizations.

Coryell will work with Howard-Páez, SJA faculty and board until July 1 to ensure a smooth transition. After that, she will assume a part-time role as a senior leadership advisor. She is also looking forward to spending more time with family, friends and traveling.

“It has been a privilege to lead St. Joan Antida High School and witness incredible growth and transformation over the past six years,” said Coryell. “I am confident that René’s leadership will continue to propel SJA forward, and I look forward to seeing all the wonderful achievements that lie ahead.”

René Howard-Páez