Tom & Carol Winstel: CISE Donors

Tom was introduced to CISE many years ago as a Saint Xavier high school student, tutoring at a CISE school. “Even then, as a young high school student, I was impressed by the mission of CISE and its outsized positive impact on the lives of young inner city youth.”

Carol shares, “When our children were young, Tom and I made a commitment to prioritize a faith-based education for our kids. It was a financial sacrifice, but one that we felt was worth it! By supporting CISE, we hope that other children may also benefit from a similar education and be inspired to go out into the world and do good for others!”

Tom and Carol were delighted to donate to the CISE campaign through the new CISE-SGO,

Meet Lauren Clements, Principal of Corryville Catholic

My name is Lauren Clements and I am the proud principal of Corryville Catholic School. It seems as if Catholic education runs in our family. My husband, Joe, is the principal at St. Francis Seraph School. Our daughter Caitlyn is a sophomore at St. Bonaventure University. Jack is a sophomore at Moeller High School, and Joseph is at St. Clement School. We believe that Catholic education has made such a difference in our lives and we are thankful that we can all live out our faith at work and at home.

The strongest role model in my life, my mom, was a second-grade teacher. She passed along her passion for education to me, and I always knew I would spend my career educating children. I earned my bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from The Ohio State University and a Masters in Inclusive Education from Mt St. Joseph University. My most recent education was completed at The University of Notre Dame, gaining my TESOL certification to teach English as a second language. Throughout my 14 years of teaching 1st and 2nd grade, I became passionate about becoming the teacher my students needed. As a principal, that passion remains, but has shifted focus to supporting teachers, ensuring they have every opportunity available to be a teacher at the top of their game.

It has been four busy years since I answered the call to begin my principalship. I feel so fortunate to be part of the Corryville Catholic and CISE communities. The best part of my job is building relationships with students, families, and teachers. Academic achievement continues to improve with the implementation of a new reading curriculum and math framework. We know our efforts are paying off with 90% of our 8th graders being accepted to Catholic high schools. All the success we are experiencing at Corryville would not be possible without the support of CISE. CISE provides funding for critical programs such as nursing, mental health, and our after-school program. These programs provide the wrap-around support to make sure no students fall through the cracks. Recently, a grandmother of an alum called Corryville expressing her gratitude for the work we do within our school. She said that without a doubt Corryville is what made a difference in her grandson’s life and prepared him for high school success.

Thank you to our entire CISE community for being the difference makers in our students’ lives.

CISE Quarterly Welcome

From Phil McHugh

Welcome to the CISE Quarterly! In an effort to keep you informed of all the activities at CISE, we are pleased to share our first newsletter. Each quarter, you can look forward to receiving our newsletter with stories from the CISE schools, spotlights featuring our donors, sponsors, and board members, updates from the CISE office, stories in the news, and more. 

This past year has been full of success for CISE! Our 2022 campaign raised over $4,000,000. We launched our CISE – Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) to allow our donors to receive an Ohio Income tax credit. Most significantly, we received a pledge of $50,000,000 from Harry and Linda Fath to support our high school scholarship and support services programs. Truly, we are blessed at CISE. (Read more below about each of these great pieces of news.)

We have a record number of CISE elementary school graduates attending a local Catholic high school. For the 2022-2023 academic year, over 400 scholars will continue their Catholic, values-based education in a Catholic high school. Many thanks to our high school partners who support us in our mission.

Finally, we welcome two new members to our CISE team. Debi Haines has joined us in the role of Director of Marketing & Communications. Debi will focus on increasing the awareness of CISE. 

Kelly Camm has joined us as Director of Development as we desire to build a deeper relationship with our donors. Please welcome Debi and Kelly to our team.

Thanks to all of you who support our mission. We are making a difference in the lives of the children we serve.


Phil McHugh

Party At The Museum

CISE Party at the American Sign Museum
Friday, April 28th, 6-10pm
Tickets: $50

This year the CISE Party will be at the American Sign Museum! Explore this fun and unique venue while enjoying dinner by-the-bite with a drink in your hand. In addition to great food from Vonderhaar’s Catering (voted Cincinnati’s Best of the Best 2022) and an open bar, you will be able to play games, bid on some fantastic silent auction items, enjoy a scavenger hunt and participate in our raffles. Complimentary valet parking will be provided. 

This promises to be an event to remember and for a great cause! Purchase your party and raffle tickets now with the link above.

What is the American Sign Museum?
The American Sign Museum is dedicated to the art and history of commercial signs and sign making. The American Sign Museum is proud to be the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the United States! Covering more than 100 years of American sign history in 20,000 square feet of indoor space, the museum is a walk through the ages of technology and design.

1330 Monmouth Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224 
Camp Washington

Become A Monthly Donor

You can now become a CISE Scholar Supporter by signing up for our monthly giving program.  

Simply select the amount of your donation, choose the monthly option under “frequency”, then enter your personal information and payment details.

When you become a CISE Continuous Contributor you will receive the following perks:

    • Be automatically entered into donor raffles throughout the year (theater/sporting event tickets, cash raffle, etc.) 

    • Receive the CISE Quarterly e-news

*If you are an Ohio resident and would like to take advantage of the State of Ohio tax credit of $750/year per individual, you can set up a monthly donation through the CISE-SGO (Scholarship Granting Organization). By donating to the CISE-SGO you can choose to give CISE-SGO $750/year of your hard-earned money vs. the state of Ohio. You will receive a gift letter for tax purposes, and you can claim the credit on your Ohio income tax return.  

St. Lawrence and Elder – A Partnership That Works

It’s a cold winter day in Price Hill. Children hurry to their classes, the bell rings, and the St. Lawrence Elementary school day begins like most others do. Today, though, is special as Jack Reuter and classmates, Nate Steiner and Luke Wilmink, visit the school. The boys are students from Elder High School, located just a half a mile away. As part of a community service class, the boys make the short trek over to St. Lawrence twice a week to serve as tutors for the grade school children.

Jack, a senior at Elder, began tutoring at St. Lawrence in August. “We go to grade schools around the westside… a lot of them CISE schools. I work here at St. Lawrence with the kindergarten class, and I have a blast helping them out!” Elder junior, Nate, adds, “It’s kind of fun, it’s nice being able to get to leave school and not have an actual class.”  

The Director of Campus Ministry at Elder High School, Al Kovacic, admits that some students take the class as an easy grade and a way to leave the campus, but most discover that it‘s a meaningful experience. Kovacic shares, “I would hope that Elder students expand their world a bit and see life through the eyes of others who may not be like them.”

This semester the Elder boys are working with kindergarten and third grade students, about 90 children in total. They help the children with math and reading, focusing on students who need a little extra help. Often, the children will learn through playing games with their high school buddies. Luke, also a senior, comments, “Some [kids] aren’t as interested [in learning] as others, that’s why the games help… sometimes they don’t even realize they are learning when we play.”

St. Lawrence Principal Jen Long speaks enthusiastically about the mutual benefits of this partnership. “Our children not only get additional one-on-one help from the boys, but it also gives them something to look forward to. For some of our younger boys, it is their first encounter with what Elder High School is and that they can possibly go there someday. It also gives them a positive role model for how to help others.” Elder tutor, Luke, has experienced the reward of this work, “It’s a good feeling to know that the kids look forward to me coming to help them out.”

Jeydi is a third-grade student who works with the Elder students on math and says, “I think that they help us a lot when we make a mistake on something. They especially can help us with math, because some of us struggle a lot and they help us do better.” She giggles, “They are a lot smarter than us!”

The benefits of this longtime partnership between the two Price Hill schools reaches far beyond academics. Principal Long shares how her young students help expand the understanding of the high school boys: “A lot of the boys that are coming from Elder live in the suburbs and don’t have a lot of experience with poverty or our growing Hispanic population. I think this opportunity gives them an experience to change some of the preconceived notions that they may have. In a small way, this program helps to change opinions and stereotypes in our westside community.” 

When asked what the third graders have taught him, Jack Reuter smiles and responds, “First of all, they’ve taught me a lot about their culture. Obviously, a lot of the children at this school are Hispanic and being exposed to that has really showed me a lot about where they come from, about their values, about what they hold dear in their families. They’ve also shown me that it’s a responsibility for me to take stuff like this seriously… to be there for these kids, to be a good role model for them and show them how to do things the right way. Eventually, they will grow up and be in our situation so just being there for them now is important.” 

Jack goes on to say, “I think we are very fortunate at Elder to have a program like this… especially for people who have a Catholic education in high school, not only to be able to help other people out, but to be able to learn something from it and figure out that there are problems we need to help solve, in education and in these kids’ lives… I definitely think it’s something that every Catholic high school should have.”

St. Lawrence Elementary is one of ten CISE (Catholic Inner-City Schools Education) Catholic elementary schools in Cincinnati. The mission of CISE is to provide a safe nurturing environment and a values-based Catholic education to inner-city youth. CISE has been around for over 40 years and currently serves 2300 students in the elementary schools.    

By Debi Haines
December 2022

CISE Receives Largest Donation in 40-Year History

In December, CISE announced it has received a $50 million pledge from Harry and Linda Fath to the CISE Foundation. This transformational donation, the largest in CISE’s 40-year history, will establish an endowment that will award Catholic high school scholarships to graduates of CISE-supported Catholic elementary schools. In addition, the gift will strengthen student support systems at local high schools to help ensure the continued success of these scholars.

The Faths have a long and distinguished history of support for CISE. Harry was a long-standing member of the CISE Board of Trustees and now serves as an Emeritus Member. In addition, he played an instrumental role in creating the CISE Foundation. Harry and Linda Fath have been loyal contributors to CISE for several decades.

“On behalf of CISE, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to Harry and Linda for their remarkable generosity,” said CISE President Philip R. McHugh. “Their continued support will enable CISE to provide the resources necessary for our students to continue their Catholic, value-based education. A quality education is the best investment we can make in our children and community.”

CISE was created in 1982 by Archbishop of Cincinnati Joseph Bernadin and businessmen Ralph Lazarus and Edward Harness. This trio of community leaders of three different faiths united with the mutual goal of utilizing these parish schools, providing Catholic school opportunities for challenged families, and leveraging the generosity of the broader community. Today, CISE supports nearly 2,300 students attending 10 elementary schools and an additional 406 students attending a Catholic high school.

“CISE is a remarkable organization in our Cincinnati community. Linda and I are honored to make this gift to the CISE Foundation to provide a quality, Catholic education for the inner-city children of Cincinnati,” said Harry Fath. “My own Catholic education made me who I am today. It is our hope that this gift will transform the lives of many children for the better.”

Harry Fath was raised in Cincinnati and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1959. He continued his Catholic education at The University of Notre Dame, later serving in the U.S. Army and earning a law degree. He is the owner of Fath Properties, a real estate firm. The Faths are active and dedicated supporters to many Cincinnati organizations, helping improve the lives of countless families and children through their generous gifts. 

Debi Haines joins CISE as Director of Marketing and Communication

Debi Haines has been hired in the position of Director of Marketing and Communication.

Haines has a long professional history in both nonprofit and commercial organizations in the fields of communication and marketing. Debi also has extensive training and experience as a video producer, photographer, graphic artist, social media manager. Prior to joining CISE, Haines served at Knox Presbyterian Church, in Hyde Park, as the Marketing Manager.

Debi and her husband live in Finneytown and have two college-age children, Olivia and Evan.

Haines joined the CISE staff in October of 2022.

Kelly Camm joins CISE as Director of Development

Kelly Camm has been hired in the new position of Director of Development for CISE.

Camm has a strong background in nonprofit development as she served in a development leadership role for 12 years as well as 3 years of nonprofit board experience before joining CISE. Prior to committing to the nonprofit world, Kelly gained experience in marketing, product development, brand management, and PR for multiple sized companies ranging from a Fortune 500 company to a small entrepreneurial firm. Camm also consulted in marketing and PR and taught a variety of college courses. Camm is a member of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits. 

Kelly and her husband live in Erlanger and share a pup named Lucy and a cat named Murphy.

Kelly joined the CISE staff in November of 2022.

Amid the Pandemic, Progress in Catholic Schools

Enrollment and student achievement are rising, thanks in part to parents.

The Nation’s Report Card is out, and it is dismal. The 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, released Monday found that achievement in reading and math among fourth- and eighth-graders has dropped since 2019 in nearly every state. 

To the extent that anyone could deny it before, the results settle the debate: America’s response to the pandemic set a generation of students back. But amid the bad news, Catholic schools were a bright spot, reflecting how these schools are making a difference in students’ lives. 

From the beginning of the pandemic, American Catholic schools have shown how community focused, mission-driven leadership can benefit children. In March 2020, Catholic schools were among the first to close as Covid hit. In the fall of 2020, after we had learned more about curbing superspreader events and as it became clear that children were the least vulnerable to the virus, more than 92% of Catholic schoolsacross the country re-opened for in-person learning, compared with 43% of traditional public schools and 34% of charters. 

This week’s NAEP data show how important reopening was for learning. Today, the divergence between Catholic schools and public ones is so great that if all U.S. Catholic schools were a state, their 1.6 million students would rank first in the nation across the NAEP reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders.

Catholic-school students now boast the nation’s highest scale scores on all four NAEP tests. The average score among fourth-graders in Catholic schools was 233, 17 points higher than the national public-school average, or about 1½ grade levels ahead. In eighth-grade reading, the average score for Catholic school students was 279, 20 points higher than the national public-school average, or about two grade levels ahead.

When disaggregated by race, Catholic schools showed significant gains since 2019. In particular, achievement among black students enrolled in Catholic schools increased by 10 points (about an extra year’s worth of learning), while black students in public schools lost 5 points and black students in charter schools lost 8 points. Similarly, on the eighth-grade reading test, Hispanic students in Catholic schools gained 7 points while Hispanic students in public schools lost 1 point and Hispanic students in charter schools lost 2 points. 

Catholic schools lead the nation for Hispanic achievement on each of the four tests, and lead the nation in black student achievement on three of the four. They also rank first in eighth-grade reading and third in both fourth-grade reading and fourth-grade math for students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.

The report is good news for what has been until now a weary sector. The pandemic strained Catholic schools, particularly urban ones that serve the neediest, but pastors, principals and diocesan leaders pressed forward to serve communities. That revitalization was spurred by parents who saw how Catholic schools responded to the pandemic and who drove the first nationwide Catholic-school enrollment increase in two decades. 

As public-school enrollment plummeted, Catholic-school enrollment rose by about 4% between 2020-21 and 2021-22, increasing in every region of the country, even where the overall population of school-age children declined.

Those trying to undercut the Catholic-school success story dismiss the results as merely the high performance of elite private schools. But K-8 Catholic schools are the only private elementary schools in America that serve the urban poor at scale. The average annual tuition for a K-8 Catholic school is $5,300—about one-third what states spend per child on public schools. 

At Partnership Schools, we serve under-resourced communities in 11 Catholic schools. Enrollment surged over the past two years, growing by 40% in our Cleveland schools and 18% in our New York City ones. In New York, our share of low-income students grew from 65% to 79% since 2020. In Cleveland, almost all our students are low-income, and the average annual income of their families is $18,000.

While many political leaders called the learning losses inevitable, the performance of Catholic schools in this difficult time shows that they weren’t. During the pandemic, we didn’t lower our standards or accept falling enrollment as inevitable. What we needed then and need now is to empower all parents to choose the best school for their children, and to have leaders who set the bar high and insist we reach it for all our kids. 

By Kathleen Porter-Magee 
Oct. 27, 2022
Wall Street Journal | Opinion

Ms. Porter-Magee is superintendent of Partnership Schools, a management organization that runs 11 Catholic schools in New York City and Cleveland, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute.