Meet our new Director of Schools Mrs. Haidee (Heidi) Todora!
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, and attended St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School and Bishop Byrne High School.
You realize that Minnesota has sub zero weather and snowstorms? Why Minnesota?
My mother, who was born in 1921 in Topelius, Minnesota, was raised on a dairy farm. Every summer we would travel to Minnesota to visit relatives. My mother always identified Minnesota as “God’s Country.” Since her passing two years ago, I have felt a strong connection to Minnesota as if she were pulling me here.
What’s your background and what motivated you to pursue a career in Catholic education?
I am the baby of five children. In addition to attending Catholic School, my mom would always make sure we attended Sunday mass. I have always felt a strong connection to the Catholic Church and witnessed my mother’s faith in action. I knew from a young age that I would be connected to the Church forever. After many years in the secular workforce, I decided to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Kinesiology and then began coaching. My principal suggested I get a Catholic School Leadership degree, which I did. Once I received it, he retired, and I became the principal at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School (SCS), where I was an alumni. I worked for the Diocese of Beaumont for 14 years, seven as principal of SCS.
What excites you most about joining the RCS community?
As a principal, I saw a need for strong leadership in Catholic schools to help principals develop tools necessary to continue the mission of the Church. It takes a strong will and faith in God to fight for keeping the mission of the Church alive in Catholic Schools. My mother instilled in me “what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.” I have always stood firm in doing what is right.
I am excited to work for RCS because I feel a strong connection to the people of Minnesota and want to honor my mother by working to give children an opportunity to walk with Christ everyday in our Catholic schools. Keeping Catholic schools Catholic and places where children can feel safe and loved is very important to me. Having the opportunity as Director of Schools for RCS is an opportunity for me to continue my walk with Christ, and fulfill my mission in what God is calling me to do. The RCS community is a wonderful community which has allowed me to provide leadership for the staff and students in our schools.
What are some personal interests of yours?
I am a career athlete and enjoy working with teams. I enjoy reading nonfiction and books that help me on my spiritual journey. My strongest personal interest/calling is being a good spiritual leader.
As Director of Schools what is it that you do?
As Director of Schools I provide spiritual leadership and guidance to principals and the RCS leadership team. I work with the entire educational community to maintain excellence in our schools. I identify challenges in our system and work towards strengthening all areas. I find ways to help our school be affordable to all families who want their children to have a Catholic education. I make sure that our schools follow the laws and guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church.
Tell us about your family?
My husband, Ray, of 21 years, and I have a son, Collin, who is a senior at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, Texas. Collin loves to play golf and is a master computer gamer. Ray loves playing softball, is retired from the City of Port Arthur, Texas, and currently works maintenance at St. Catherine of Siena School.