After a lengthy search, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki appointed Matthew Rizzo as the new president of St. Joseph Catholic Academy in Kenosha.

Rizzo was previously the SJCA middle school principal, and since January he has served the school as the interim president. SJCA High School Principal Bridget Bartholomew has taken on academic leadership of both the middle school and high school.

“Our months-long search brought us to the conclusion that the most qualified candidate is right here with us in Matthew Rizzo,” said Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Kathleen Cepelka. “His experience, professionalism and ability to bring people together toward a common vision will help St. Joseph Catholic Academy continue its legacy of excellence.”

Rizzo said he is overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity ahead of him and has enjoyed the past few months serving as the interim president. He added he is grateful for the archdiocese’s confidence in him.

“I am grateful they are allowing me to continue to lead and further strengthen the academy so that we can secure a bright future for Catholic education in Kenosha,” he said. “First and foremost, I thank God for bringing me into the SJCA community and the already long list of amazing experiences and treasured relationships I have been given.

“I also want to thank Archbishop Listecki, Fr. James Lobacz, Dr. Cepelka, Bruce Varick (associate superintendent of schools) and SJCA’s Transition Board of Directors for their trust and confidence in me to lead St. Joseph Catholic Academy on a full-time basis, and hopefully into a future holding new and exciting possibilities, goals and achievements for us all to take great pride in, bringing us even closer together as a community.”

Rizzo earned his bachelor’s degree in education from UW-LaCrosse in 2004 and his master’s degree in education from Carthage College in 2006.

“Being an educator is more than just a job; it’s a calling and a privilege,” Rizzo said. “As a Catholic educator, it has taken on even more significance as I have come to realize God has placed me right where I am for a reason. I believe teaching, or working in the field of education, is a way to serve God. I know this new and unique opportunity he has given to me to continue to make a difference in the lives of others is special, and I am honored to serve in this role at SJCA. There hasn’t been a day I have taken my opportunity to serve the St. Joseph Catholic Academy students, families and community for granted.”

Matthew Rizzo