Vicki Schwartz SL
St. Louis is my hometown, and I frequently return there to spend time with my nieces and their families. After attending elementary school at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and high school at Nerinx Hall, I left home, at age 18, to join the Sisters of Loretto. I often tell my friends that was the smartest decision of my life! In 1958, when I left St. Louis, there were not many career options available for women. Through Loretto, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities.
My academic accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree from Webster University, a master’s from St. Louis University in English, a master’s in theological studies from the Franciscan School of Theology, part of the graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and Texas State certification as a secondary school administrator.
My “first career” was in education, and my earliest assignments included teaching fourth and fifth grade at Loretto Academy in El Paso, Texas, followed by working at Loretto in Kansas City, Mo., first in the “Lower Pod” (grades 1-4), and later teaching freshmen English. In 1969, I returned to El Paso where I taught English and theology for five years. I then became the high school principal for 11 years – some of the happiest days of my life.
In 1987 I felt called to especially focus on my own spiritual journey, and that’s what drew me to Berkeley. After finishing there, I returned to the workforce. While I loved my days at Loretto Academy, I felt it was time to explore avenues other than education. Thus, I began my 23-year mission at Huckleberry Youth Programs, a non-profit agency serving the needs of at-risk youth in San Francisco and Marin County, Calif. During the early years there I was director of administration and human resources. In 2000 I became director of development and continued in that capacity until 2012.
In 2006 I was elected to be a member Loretto’s Executive Committee and Forum, serving on Cathy Mueller’s team through 2012. In 2013-2015 I served as Vice President, as part of Pearl McGivney’s team. I was elected to Barbara Nicholas’s leadership team in 2018.
In 2016-17 I returned to my earlier passion for education by serving as interim president at St. Mary’s Academy in Denver, and in 2018-19 serving in that capacity at Escuela de Guadalupe, also in Denver.
I have been blessed with some deep and abiding friendship in Loretto which I will always carry in my heart.