Faculty, Staff & Administration

Venango Region Catholic School announces the new president to oversee the newly formed school system.

March 25, 2019

Venango Region Catholic School President is Named

The Venango Region Catholic School is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Blake as its first president. Ms. Blake enters her new position with a demonstrated strong commitment to the mission and values that are fundamental to Catholic education. She comes from her most recent position as principal at Seton Catholic School in Meadville, Pa., where she also served as a faculty member.

“Our board is excited and looking forward to beginning our work with Laura,” said Greg Merkel, chairperson of the Venango Region Catholic School board of directors. “Given her wealth of knowledge and solid educational experience, we are certain that school parents, faculty, staff and the entire community will recognize her many talents and assist her in guiding the continuing evolution of our new school. We are elated to welcome her and pledge our full support in her important leadership role.”

President Blake’s tenure in Catholic education is characterized by the recognition that building a school culture that enables positive relationships among administrators, faculty parents, students, and the community is critical to the achievement of the overall outcomes of the school that she leads. Her “lead by example” approach has led to impressive success at Seton Catholic School both as an administrator and in the classroom as a teacher.

President Blake received her undergraduate degree from Seton Hill University and holds a master of education degree specializing in curriculum and instruction from Gannon University. Her teaching assignments at Seton were focused on middle school social studies, ELA, and religion, and she served as a faculty advisor for several student-led groups.

President Blake has served as the mentor for Erie Diocese principal candidates and as a trainer for the Diocese of Erie program for teachers completing Level II certification. She has chaired a Middle States accreditation committee as well as serving in the role of chairperson for the diocesan Building in Truth and Love strategic planning committee for school-level planning.

With a restless determination and the vision of schools as a place to establish high standards and rigorous goals, President Blake begins her drive to make the Venango Region Catholic School the best it can possibly be.

The three campuses that make up the Venango Region Catholic School are Venango Catholic High School and St. Stephen Elementary School in Oil City, as well as St. Patrick Elementary School in Franklin.


Mrs. Laura Blake



Mrs. Laura Beichner



Mr. Chad Rugh

Director of Advancemnet


Mr. Brian Slider



  • B.A. in Literature, Minor in Theology & Psychology – King’s College
  • M.A. in Literature – West Chester University

Mrs. Judy Frost



  • B.S. in Art Education – Buffalo State University

Mrs. Beth Metz



Mr. Ronald Bair



  • B.S. in Mathematics – Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Shani L. Baughman



  • BS in Education – Edinboro University
  • Certified in Mathematics & Science

Katherine Chandley



  • B.A. English, minor in secondary education–Westminster  College
  • M.Ed. Educational Psychology–Edinboro University
  • Graduate credits towards professional school counselling–Edinboro Univerisity

Mrs. Sherry Cook



  • B.S. in Science – Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • Certified in Biology, Chemistry, and General Science
  • AP Biology audited and certified

Mrs. Emily Hicks



  • B.A. in Political Science with minors in History and Philosophy from Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Master’s in Education from Slippery Rock University with a concentration in History
  • Duel certified in English and Social Studies

Mr. Scott McCray



  • B.S. in Secondary Spanish – Edinboro University