Frank Casabonne - Chair of Bishop Kelly’s Board of Governance
By Emily Woodham
Bishop Kelly High School is pleased to introduce members of our Board of Governance to the readers of the Idaho Catholic Register. BK’s Board of Governance collaborates with the Diocese of Boise to formulate policies and plans that enable Bishop Kelly to reach their agreed-upon goals.
Frank Casabonne believes Catholic education is essential at all levels of learning. “I love our Catholic schools,” said Cassabone, the Chair of Bishop Kelly’s Board of Governance. “I enjoy being a part of the continuation and betterment of Bishop Kelly.”
Cassabone attended Catholic schools for all his education, from elementary school to college. He and his wife Janet are parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Boise. All three of their children went to St. Mary’s School and are Bishop Kelly Alum-knights: Nicole, ‘02, Patrick, ‘05 and Robert, ‘13.
They are also grandparents to six aspiring Knights, three of whom currently attend St. Mary’s Catholic School in Boise, two who are students at St. Ignatius in Meridian, and one who is not yet school-aged.
The Board of Governance is responsible for the operation of Bishop Kelly and has 12 members. There is a representative from each of the seven parishes in Ada County and one from St. Paul’s Parish in Nampa. The superintendent of schools, Tammy Emerich, and the president of the Bishop Kelly Foundation, Jeff Lliteras, are also on the board. The two priests on the board for this year are Father Vitalis Onyeama, pastor at Holy Apostles Parish in Meridian, and Father Germán Osorio, rector at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Boise.
The board generally meets once a month and hears reports from four committees: Mission and Catholic Identity, Operations and Policy, Buildings and Grounds and the Finance Committee. The principal, Dr. Sarah Quilici, the president of the Foundation and the superintendent also provide information. The only employee of the Board of Governance is the president of Bishop Kelly, Bill Avey.
“Working with finances is the most difficult part of being on the board,” Cassabone said. “You need the funds to run the school, but you don’t want to make the tuition prohibitive.” The financial aid from the Bishop Kelly Foundation has been wonderful for families who otherwise could not send their kids to Bishop Kelly.”
Cassabone said he is passionate about young people learning about and practicing their faith. He is excited that Bishop Kelly students can encounter Jesus in their classrooms, through their activities and athletic endeavors, and alongside their friends and classmates.
Cassabone, along with BK Chaplain Father Greg Vance and members of BK’s administration, have worked to create fun and meaningful opportunities for students to grow in their Catholic faith. During his four-year tenure on the board, Bishop Kelly has added a full-time Chaplain to the staff, increased retreat opportunities for students, launched an initiative to bring more faith formation into the Athletics program at BK, and began offering weekly adoration to students, staff, and parents.
Cassabone wants Bishop Kelly students to feel engaged and connected to their home parishes. “We need more Bishop Kelly students to demonstrate Catholic leadership
in their home parishes by participating in liturgies, serving as readers and Eucharistic Ministers, and engaging with the younger students in our Catholic grade schools. When this happens, it greatly benefits the Catholic community in Idaho,” he said.
Cassabone has also been a part of strategic planning at BK. “I believe that Bishop Kelly’s new strategic plan will encourage and give opportunities for faith formation not just for BK students, but also for faculty, staff, parents, and the greater BK Family and community.”
In addition to providing valuable input for BK’s new Strategic Plan, he led the board through a season of change with Bill Avey stepping into the role of President after the retirement of Rich Raimondi in 2022, and Dr. Sarah Quilici leading the school as Principal after Mike Caldwell’s retirement last spring. Cassabone’s care and commitment to BK help to ensure the school continues to fulfill its mission to “educate and develop students in the Catholic tradition - spirit, mind, and body.”
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