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SMHS Enrollment Management Has New Leadership

Our Vision for Scecina Memorial High School is, “Welcoming all who desire our Catholic education, we are the school of choice for students and families seeking unique moments to learn, grow, and go forth to transform the world inspired by the light of Christ” says President Joe Therber. “Every day we pursue this vision. I think that our Office of Enrollment Management has made a great leap forward by welcoming new leadership this fall”.

Kelsey Abelein is the new Director of Enrollment Management. She began in this role in July after an extensive search to recruit the ideal candidate to welcome future Crusader families as they apply for admission to Scecina Memorial High School.

Kelsey comes to Scecina Memorial High School from Providence Cristo Rey High School on the west side of Indianapolis. Kelsey spent a year working in the Enrollment Office at Providence Cristo Rey as part of an internship through AmeriCorps. Upon the completion of her AmeriCorps service, she taught Catholic Theology at Providence Cristo Rey for the 2013-2014 school year. Ultimately, her desire to return to admissions and enrollment led her to Scecina Memorial High School.

Kelsey is a native of Rochester, New York. She attended Our Lady of Mercy High School, an all-girls Catholic high school, before moving on to Assumption College, a Catholic College in Massachusetts. She pursued her love of education, sports, and leadership at Assumption College, where she played soccer, and participated in leadership groups such as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and Phi Alpha Theta. She graduated from Assumption in 2011 with a degree in History and Secondary Education. Kelsey joined AmeriCorps after college, which prompted her 2012 move to the Indianapolis area. She currently lives in the Broad Ripple area and is a parishioner at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Joining Kelsey in the Office of Enrollment Management is Cari Gallagher, a Scecina graduate, parent, and coach. Cari began work in a dual role at Scecina in November 2013. As the Enrollment Management and Athletics Assistant, she supports enrollment management and athletic activities. In the Athletic Department, Cari supports Jason Kehrer, Athletic Director, and the coaching staff of Scecina Memorial High School.

Cari is a familiar face to Scecina families. She has been coaching the Crusader cheerleaders since 2011. She accepted her current position after retiring from the dental field after 16 years. She has a degree in dental hygiene from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. She can often be seen at Scecina events supporting her daughter Elizabeth (2015) and son AJ (2018). Cari and her husband, Tim Gallagher (1993) are also parents of two future Crusaders, Maggie (2022) and Nate (2025). The Gallaghers are members of Holy Name of Jesus Parish.

Together, Kelsey and Cari, with guidance from Bob Golobish, Vice President of Advancement, and President Joe Therber, who ultimately is responsible for the school’s enrollment, work hard to recruit, enroll, and retain students from a large variety of schools throughout the Indianapolis area. Scecina Memorial High School currently serves students and families from 60 different elementary and middle schools. Kelsey noted, however, that “Students from our Catholic partner grade schools—Holy Cross, Saint Philip Neri, Little Flower, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Spirit, and Saint Michael—are and will continue to be the core of our enrollment. These students are very important to us.”

She also notes the value of all the opportunities that Scecina has to offer. “In a competitive school market, a big part of our purpose is providing families with timely, detailed information about all of the exciting things happening at Scecina so that they see the opportunity for their child and them, and want to become a part of it.”

Cari believes the key is to make students and families feel engaged in the Crusader Community, which should begin early in a student’s education. “We strive to communicate with and plan events for students as young as third and fourth grade. It is our hope that they will feel connected to, and part of, the Scecina family so that when they choose their high school, Scecina is the next natural step” she states.

Admitting students to Scecina, however, is not the final goal. It is equally important to ensure that every student feels welcome and is successful at Scecina, and then graduates as a morally, spiritually, and academically prepared servant leader in the footsteps of Father Thomas Scecina.