Cardinal Stritch picks William Berry as president

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School & Academy announced on Wednesday that William Berry will be the new president and head of the school.
        Berry will replace Fr. Eric Schild, who was president of Stritch for nine years and is the pastor at St. Jerome in Walbridge.  
        The Diocese of Toledo announced the appointment of Fr. Anthony Coci to serve as pastor of St. Jerome and priest leader of Cardinal Stritch. Fr. Coci has been a priest for two years and is currently the associate pastor at Tiffin, St. Mary’s. He served as a substitute teacher at Cardinal Stritch during the 2009-2010 school year.
        Berry is a known entity to the board and administrative team at Stritch. He will be taking on the presidency on June 3, and will become the 11th leader since the doors opened at the high school in 1961.
        Berry is a “strong Catholic and an active parishioner at St. Joe, Sylvania,” who attends Mass daily, according to the Diocese.
        Berry has been the CEO of large companies and has been the agent of change to help them be sustainable and successful. As a member of the Board of Directors, Berry looks forward to continue to develop objectives and to meet the expectations of the Cardinal Stritch family.
        Berry was educated in Marketing and Finance from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. He has associate certifications from the Institute of Financial Accounts (1992), and Northwest Score Certified Mentor Advisor (2014). Berry’s experience as CEO, as a chairman, and as a vice president who implemented innovative production and growth strategy will help Cardinal Stritch continue to set goals for excellence and to be able to achieve them through the finance, advancement, athletic, and other departments.
        So what is Berry’s vision for Stritch over the next five years?
        “First and foremost our role as a Catholic school is to bring students closer to Christ,” Berry told The Press on Wednesday. “Alongside Fr. Coci, our incoming priest leader, and our tremendous faculty and staff, I am confident this is an area our school will continue to excel. 
        “Secondly, having spent most of my career in industry, I'm also extremely interested in ways that we can continue to prepare students for the real world. The Cardinal Stritch Corporate Internship Program (CIP) is the region's first truly innovative approach to balancing rigorous college preparatory education and real world experience,” continued Berry. 
        “In working with the faculty and staff at Stritch, we will continue to grow this program and all of the opportunities that are made available to our students in all areas of the arts, athletics, academics and extracurriculars to continue to increase the value that students and families get when they invest in a Cardinal Stritch education.”
Schild’s impact
        Fr. Schild was president of Stritch, the area’s only pre-K to 12 Catholic School, for nine years. He has been reassigned to serve as Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Maumee. He succeeds Rev. Keith Stripe, who will be the incoming pastor at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Oregon.
        A 2015 recipient of Toledo’s 20 Under 40 award, Fr. Schild’s impact at Stritch has been felt throughout the community, with significant growth in Catholic identity, community engagement and fundraising. Annual trips to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., summer retreats to Camp Covecrest in Georgia, and the growth of opportunities for students to grow in their faith daily through Mass, adoration, reconciliation and more are all highlights of his near decade career at Stritch.  Fr. Eric is known by students, alumni and parents for his warm personality, signature laugh and sense of humor, all of which helped connect the school community referred to as The Cardinal Family. An unapologetic fundraiser, Fr. Schild impact on the school’s financial health is significant as well, successfully completing the school’s largest capital campaign, strengthening the endowment fund, and helping raise nearly $6 million dollars.
        “I have truly enjoyed my nine years as president of Cardinal Stritch, I have found great joy in being part of the Cardinal family and the Oregon community,” Fr. Schild told The Press on Wednesday.  “The alumni, parents, friends and most definitely the students made this priestly assignment a blessing and highlight of my 12 years as a priest.  Cardinal Stritch will also have a big place in my heart and I look forward to continuing many of those relationships as I move to Maumee.” 
        A community celebration is being scheduled for May 17 at Cardinal Stritch to honor Fr. Schild’s  legacy and to wish him well at his new parish and school community. Details will be available at the school’s website:


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