ON-Lion Letter
Messmer Catholic Schools in Milwaukee will assume management of the city's St. Leo Catholic Urban Academy from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee effective immediately, according to a February 2007 joint announcement by Messmer and the Archdiocese.  Messmer, an early participant in the successful Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, has long been substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Messmer High School and Messmer Preparatory Catholic School are independent schools that collectively enroll more than 1,000  K4-12 students.  Both schools have waiting lists.

Messmer's president, Brother Bob Smith, is a member of the Capuchin Franciscan religious order and was an early and outspoken leader of the school-choice movement, in Milwaukee and nationally.  He also serves on the Bradley Foundation's Board of Directors.  Messmer's principal is Jeff Monday.

"I've asked Brother Bob Smith, the Capuchin Franciscan Fathers and Brothers, Jeff Monday, and the board at Messmer High School to welcome one of our Catholic Urban Academies, St. Leo, into the Messmer enterprise, and they have graciously answered yes," Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan said.

St. Leo's 158 students are all African-American.  A small percentage of them are Catholic.

St. Leo and another Catholic Urban Academy, St. Rose, were both formed by the Archdiocese in 1994, after a tumultuous period of urban parish and school closings.  The new arrangement with Messmer, the Archbishop noted, will help ensure quality educational options to parents of urban students. 

Messmer and the Archdiocese are evaluating whether Messmer should assume management of the 164-student St. Rose, as well.
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