Mary Claire Kasunic
For Mary Claire, education is not simply a job; it is a vocation and lifelong commitment. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy in 1980. From there, she pursued higher education at the University of Pittsburgh where she received her Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish, followed by a Master's degree in Education.
In 1992, Mary Claire joined the Oakland Catholic community as a French teacher, a position she held for 22 years. During that tenure, she engaged in all aspects of the school's life, instituting and directing several initiatives that remain strong components of the OC experience today. Whether serving as the first Director of Admissions or stepping in as Interim Principal, founding the JOA Society of Scholars or advocating for the addition of Mandarin, Mary Claire entered each year with renewed dedication to building on what it means to achieve an Oakland Catholic education.
Since 2014, Mary Claire has served as President of the school. Under her leadership, Oakland Catholic has expanded its STEM curriculum, upgraded classroom technology and IT infrastructure, instituted a Director of College Counseling position, and established the Global Competence Initiative certificate program. A targeted fundraising approach has created additional scholarships, increased financial assistance, and provided grants for student travel, service, and leadership opportunities. Mary Claire continues to strive for the academic, spiritual, and social justice-oriented environment that will best prepare Oakland Catholic women to approach their future as globally competent, spiritually grounded, critically thinking agents of change in our world.
Over the years, Mary Claire has provided valuable insight from multiple perspectives: faculty member, parent, graduate of all-female Catholic education, and visionary for the mission of Oakland Catholic High School.