St. John Neumann Catholic School



Sister Mary Marta Abbott, R.S.M., Superintendent 

Sister Mary Marta is a perpetually professed Sister with the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan and is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Knoxville, TN which includes 2 diocesan high schools, 7 parish elementary schools, and 1 regional elementary school. Sister Mary Marta has instituted a definitive catechetical formation program for all Catholic school educators in the Diocese of Knoxville and is earnestly working towards developing future Catholic school leaders. Prior to becoming superintendent in 2011, Sister Mary Marta served as an elementary teacher at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Milwaukie, Oregon and as the Associate Director at Catholic Youth Camp in McGregor, Minnesota. Sister Mary Marta is a native Texan and a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Master of Education for Principalship and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Central Office/Superintendence from Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan. Sister loves being with people, and she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.

Sedonna Prater, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Mrs. Prater became the Diocese of Knoxville’s first Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the 10 Catholic schools in 2013. Prior to this position, Mrs. Prater has served in various professional roles in educational leadership and instruction. She began her career in the public sector as a secondary high school English and foreign language teacher. She has also taught reading in elementary grades. In 1997, she joined the faculty of Sacred Heart Cathedral School, a Prek through grade 8 parochial school in Knoxville, where she worked as an 8th grade English and American history teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. Mrs. Prater holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has completed additional graduate course work from Trevecca Nazarene College in curriculum and instruction. She is a certified Lead Evaluator with AdvancEd/SACS and has served on several school and district external review accreditation teams. She enjoys the opportunity to assist schools in realizing their instructional performance and accreditation goals. Mrs. Prater and her husband, Ron, are parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral. They have three children who all attended Catholic schools in the Diocese of Knoxville.

Rev. Msgr. G. Patrick Garrity V.E., Pastor

Msgr. Garrity came to St. John Neumann parish in February of 2010. He was ordained May 14, 1976 for the Diocese of Nashville. He was a founding member of the Diocese of Knoxville in 1988. He has served as an associate pastor and pastor at a number of parishes prior to SJN. He served for 21 years in Catholic high schools as a teacher and principal. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Meinrad College, a Masters of Divinity from St. Meinrad School of Theology, and a Masters in Education Administration from the University of Tennessee. He leads our pastoral and administrative teams at St. John Neumann parish.

Bill Derbyshire, Principal

Mr. Derbyshire joined St. John Neumann Catholic School as Principal in July 2009. Before joining SJNCS, he was on the staff at St. Jude Catholic School in Chattanooga, TN for 14 years. While at St. Jude, he served as administrator of middle school discipline, athletic director, taught 5th and 6th grade, and taught 7th and 8th grade science. He completed a diocesan leadership program and also has state approval to perform teacher evaluations. He received his B. S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, from Indiana University in 1982. He worked as an assistant controller and controller in Indiana, Ohio, and Chattanooga before receiving his teacher certification from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1995. He earned a M. S. Ed. in Educational Leadership in 2004 from Trevecca Nazarene University. Mr. Derbyshire and his wife, Marilyn, are parishoners of St. John Neumann, where Marilyn serves as the K-12 Faith Formation Coodinator and Family & Parish Life Coordinator. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Mary Sue Kosky, Assistant Principal

Mary Sue Kosky received a B.S. in Special Education from the University of South Florida in 1988 and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University in 2012. She has experience teaching in a self-contained special education classroom, resource room, and regular classroom and has served in administration at the elementary school level since 2011. Ms. Kosky holds a Catechist Certificate and is involved in the planning and implementation of Catholic identity initiatives for both students and faculty including retreats, social justice awareness and outreach, faith formation, and Liturgy. She earned a Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University in 2016. As the Assistant Principal of St. John Neumann Catholic School, Ms. Kosky is involved in the development and implementation of curriculum and instruction, standardized testing, ELL, special services, staff development, school discipline, and communication.

SJNCS Advisory School Board (Voting Members)

R. Knick Myers, Chair

Don Dally, Vice Chair

Jeff Knox, Secretary

Jeff Gerkins

Keri Bentley

SJNCS Advisory School Board (Non-Voting Members)

Msgr. G. Patrick Garrity, Pastor

Bill Derbyshire, Principal

Theresa Dzialo, Business Manager

Janet Harrigan, Director of Admissions & Development

Sabrina Talley, Faculty Representative

Mary Marlowe, PTMO Representative