Former vice principal to join Hall of Fame


SIDNEY — A former vice principal at Lehman Catholic High School is slated to join the Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame during the ninth annual induction ceremony. Four people will be inducted into the hall.

The four individuals – Sister Dorothy William Englert, Elaine Schweller-Snyder, Esther Bensman, and Bill Custenborder — will be honored at Lehman Hall of Fame festivities on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015.

One inductee of the 2015 Hall of Fame is Sister Dorothy William Englert, a member of the Sisters of Charity, who was part of the Lehman staff from 1970-1977. Englert was nominated by her friend, Sister Ginny Scherer, who is currently chair of the Lehman Science Department and was a 2009 Lehman Hall of Fame inductee.

Englert was one of the first employees hired by the Rev. Robert Monnin for the opening of Lehman Catholic in 1970. Lehman was born in that year from the consolidation of Holy Angels High School in Sidney and Piqua Catholic High School. As the school’s first vice principal, Englert worked closely with Monnin to determine the curriculum, establish the daily schedule, hire teachers, and accomplish all that was necessary to launch a new school.

According to Scherer, it was Englert who implemented the modular schedule that is still used in a similar form at Lehman today. Revolutionary at the time, the modular schedule fills the school day with a series of short “mods” that are then combined for varying class lengths. For example, a history class is two mods, a science class (that involves a lab and needs additional time) is three mods, and a study hall or lunch period is one mod. Although the schedule has been modified over the years, its basic form has proven to be effective, at least for Lehman.

Throughout her tenure in administration, Englert continued to be in classroom, asking to teach at least one academic subject each year. The classes she taught ranged from mathematics to drafting and architecture. After five years as vice-principal, she shifted gears to teaching full-time. In 1977, she left Lehman to serve the poor in Appalachia for a few years before joining her friend Scherer as co-principal of Marion Catholic High School in Marion, Ohio. She remained there for seven years and then became the Media Specialist and Librarian at All Saints Grade School in Cincinnati.

In addition to her administration and teaching duties while at Lehman, Englert coached athletic teams beginning in 1971. “She coached boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track, and girls basketball,” said Scherer. “Although girls sports were in their infancy and were not recognized by the OHSAA at that time, without a doubt the future success of the girls athletic program at Lehman was ensured by Sister Dorothy’s dedication and influence.”

Born and raised in Cincinnati as the oldest of four children, Englert attended St. Mary’s Grade School and High School in Hyde Park. She entered the Sisters of Charity in 1956 after graduating from Miami University with a double major in Physical Education and Mathematics. She held a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and came to Lehman Catholic with a strong educational background and great energy for the task of uniting two schools into one.

“Even with her busy schedule as an administrator and teacher, Sister always had time to help faculty members who were experiencing difficulties or were seeking advice about a particular situation,” said Scherer. “Her door was always open. She always had a smile and an encouraging word.”

“Sister Dorothy’s service to the school in its early years helped set Lehman on the track of excellence that it enjoys today,” said Mike Barhorst, former principal and president of Lehman Catholic, who seconded the nomination of Englert to the Hall of Fame.

Although Englert is retired, she volunteers at a local food pantry in Cincinnati and still tutors Catholic grade school students. She lives in the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in Cincinnati, but is a frequent visitor to Lehman Catholic. She loves to return for the annual school musical and to show her support of Lehman athletic teams at tournament time.

The Hall of Fame evening will begin with Mass at 5:15 p.m. in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Chapel on campus. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:00 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m. in the Cianciolo Family Gymnasium.

For tickets to the Hall of Fame dinner, contact Shelley Vanskiver at 937-726-2510 or [email protected] or Jenny Weber at Lehman at 937-498-1161 or 937-773-8747.