Press Room



Jenifer Hebda-Halliday ’95, President, (440) 331-1572
Jennifer Kirallah-Peca ‘03, Director of Marketing and Communications, (440) 331-1572, ext. 282, jpeca[at]maghs[dot]org

A portrait of Sister Helen Jean Novy, HM


(ROCKY RIVER, OH) –  Sister Helen Jean Novy, H.M., VP of Mission at Magnificat High School in Rocky River, OH, will receive the 2017 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence.

Sr. Helen Jean Novy was chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations dedicated to the nation’s Catholic schools. Sr. Helen Jean will be recognized during the annual NCEA 2017 Convention & Expo that will take place April 18 – 20 in St. Louis, MO. The annual award honors those whose ministry is Catholic school education and who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and results.

“It takes dedicated people in the schools, the dioceses, the parishes and the communities to carry out the mission of faith formation in Catholic schools. They are the living messengers of God’s purpose from generation to generation,” said Jim Pavlacka, NCEA Director of Leadership Development.

Sr. Helen Jean understands the power of Catholic education. In the 40 years she has devoted to the betterment of the young women at Magnificat, she has seen generations of these young women graduate empowered to be servant leaders.  In her many roles as author, member of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee, facilitator of retreats and host for the National Spirituality in Education Conference, Sr. Helen Jean models Catholic values in everything she does. 

“We are blessed that Sr. Helen Jean is a leader in faith and spirituality for not only our student body, but also our faculty and staff. Sister promotes all the faculty and staff as role models for the students, so that they become role models for the real-world.” Jenifer Hebda-Halliday, President of Magnificat High School ‘95.


NCEA’S convention, held this year in collaboration with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, is the largest private education association gathering in the country.  It draws participants from all facets of Catholic education, including elementary and secondary schools and religious education programs.  For more information, visit:                                        


Located in Rocky River, Ohio, Magnificat is a strong, faith-based community with a mission and purpose to develop confident, compassionate and courageous young women. Our women are called to learn, lead and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat.  Founded in 1955 by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, Magnificat offers a wide variety of academic, athletic, and experiential learning opportunities.

(ROCKY RIVER, OH) – Magnificat High School announces the hiring of new Head Varsity Volleyball Coach, Jessica Ciborek ’03 (Pompei). A highly decorated alumna, Jessica was a four-year starter and senior captain on Magnificat’s varsity volleyball team. Jessica helped her team reach the State Final Four Tournament.

After graduating from Magnificat in 2003, she attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Jessica continued her volleyball career as a four-year starter and three-year captain. Other collegiate accomplishments include: Female Athlete of the Year (2007), Big East Academic All-Star (All four years) and the Ramon Ramos Medal of Courage award (2005). She currently coaches Junior Olympic Volleyball for Cleveland Volleyball Company.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Jessica back to Magnificat! It is not hard to pinpoint one of her true passions. Her accomplishments in volleyball, professionally and personally exemplify what a Magnificat woman is.” – Paul Barlow, Director of Athletics at Magnificat High School.

Semifinalist Students represent less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide, and Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Students are chosen on the basis of high scores.

Congratulations!  We are very proud of your accomplishments!


Pictured left to right, front row, are: Kelly Malloy(Semifinalist) and Clare Dubecky.
Back row, left to right, are: Catherine Van Curen, Jessica Srail, Kendall Willard, Farah Almhana and Bridget Croniger.

Magnificat is proud to announce its Semifinalist and Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. For complete information, click here.

Magnificat High School Hosts the Spirituality in Education Conference,
in Partnership with Teachers College, Columbia University;
October 27-28


Save the Date Announcement

For Immediate Release

Contacts:         Karen Uthe Semancik, Director of Marketing, 440.33.1572, ext. 282                      

                        Susie Turek, Ass’t to the President/Director of Special Projects, 440.331.1572, ext. 253

National event features Keynote Speakers Dr. Lisa Miller (The Spiritual Child), Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ (Dead Man Walking) and Dr. Stephen G. Post (Why Good Things Happen to Good People).

(ROCKY RIVER, OH) –Magnificat High School and Teachers College, Columbia University announce their partnership in co-sponsoring The Spirituality in Education Conference at Magnificat High School on Thursday and Friday, October 27-28, 2016. This national conference is open to all teachers, counselors, administrators and parents from public, private and independent schools, pre-K through 12, and college and university educators and researchers, and is supported by The Rosemary Saas Center for Women of Faith in Leadership.

The Spirituality in Education Conference promotes the research findings that spirituality in youth is the bedrock for character development, thriving and health.

Science in the recent decade has established spirituality as the foundation for lifelong thriving and development in youth, and The Spirituality in Education Conference promotes these research findings, offering educators, parents and those serving today’s youth the tools needed to transform inner work for outer change.

This “spiritual hub” has been proven to be the number one protector from anxiety, depression and risky behaviors in young people, and tied to future resilience and happiness. Support of natural spirituality from family, educational culture and community establishes a spiritual core in the child, from which all other lines of socio-emotional and moral development unfold.

Research now shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality are:

•  40% less likely to use and abuse substances.

•  60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers.

•  more likely to have positive markers for thriving and high levels of academic success.

•  have a spiritual core established in the first two decades lasts a lifetime.

In this conference, keynotes and presenters will translate science into educational practice and innovation for the betterment of youth, kindergarten through college.

“Our attention to spiritual development, in particular, is something we consider to be critically important to empowering our young women for the future,” says Ms. Jenifer Hebda Halliday ’95, President of Magnificat High School. “We are excited and honored to welcome Dr. Miller to Magnificat, and are privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Columbia University in hosting The Spirituality in Education Conference.”

Dr. Lisa Miller, a professor and researcher at Columbia University, offers, “Research shows that a direct and personal relationship with a transcendent higher power…can be the most powerful protection against suffering in adolescence. Spirituality is the bedrock of a young person’s sense of stability and meaning in the world.”

Magnificat High School

Magnificat High School, a girls’ Catholic college-preparatory high school, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, calls young women to live Mary’s Magnificat in the world. Our Mission is to educate young women holistically to learn, lead and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat. Our Purpose is to empower young women to be role models for the real world.

Dr. Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Education, Director of the Clinical Psychology Program at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and founder and Executive Director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute. Dr. Miller’s research has been published in journals including JAMA-Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She is the author of the New York Times Best Seller The Spiritual Child, which contains over 15 years of research on the impact of religion and spirituality.

Spirituality Mind Body Institute

The Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI) at Teachers College, Columbia University explores the intersection of science and spirituality through the framework of psychology, creating a new archetype for learning and teaching. The institute fosters true self-exploration, within a rigorous academic context, in order to build an international community of inspiring thought leaders, mind-body healers, spiritual activists and visionaries. The institute is pioneering the emerging field of universal spirituality through transformative inner work for outer change.

SMBI is committed to developing evidence-based science that examines the effects of spirituality across the lifespan, including spirituality as a protective factor against mental illness, a source of resilience in cultivating relationships and as a gateway to personal fulfillment.

The Spirituality Mind Body Institute serves as a bridge between science, academia and the diverse worldwide community to address the needs of a rapidly changing world, with a cutting-edge, global spiritual platform that brings together world-renowned scientists, educators, healers and spiritual leaders to inspire conversations that foster social connectedness and constructive resolutions to contribute to the higher good of the whole.

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ

High School teacher, religious education director, author, international speaker and founder of Survive, she began her prison ministry in 1981 after visiting a prisoner with whom she had corresponded. She turned her experiences into the book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was developed into a major motion picture in 1996. The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in 2004. She continues to counsel both inmates on death row and the families of murder victims.

Dr. Stephen G. Post

A researcher and public speaker on how helping others benefits those who give, how empathic care contributes to patient outcomes and professional well-being, how youth who follow the Golden Rule live happier and more resilient lives, how caregivers find meaning and hope in caring for the deeply forgetful and how positive psychology and spirituality enhance health. He is the author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving and The Hidden Gifts of Helping.


Magnificat High School is located at 20770 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, Ohio 44116.


Visit for more information or to register for The Spirituality in Education Conference.


Magnificat Messenger--March 2017 ENewsletter

Magnificat Magazine--Fall 2016

2015-2016 Annual Report

Click here to read the 2013-2014 Press Room Archive.

Click here to read the 2012-2013 Press Room Archive.

Magnificat High School Hosts the Spirituality in Education Conference, in Partnership with Teachers College, Columbia University; October 27-28

Save the Date Announcement<Read more>

Since May is a Marian month, and Magnificat is the only diocesan high school named after Mary's Canticle, Carol Kovach, editor of the newer diocesan publication Northeast Ohio Catholic, sat down with Sister Helen Jean Novy, H.M. to talk about "the most famous woman in history" for the April/May 2016 edition. The article references Magnificat, our Mission and the Sisters of the Humility of Mary Community. Click here to read the article.

November 20, 21, 27 and 28

Magnificat came together as a community to pray for all those affected by the most recent hate-filled violence that targeted Beirut and Paris last week. Click here to learn more about this inspirational and compassionate Prayer Service as journaled by Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Ms. Chanda Neely

Magnificat came together as a community to pray for all those affected by the most recent hate-filled violence that targeted Beirut and Paris last week. Click here to learn more about this inspirational and compassionate Prayer Service as journaled by Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Ms. Chanda Neely

Magnificat held the first all-girls' carbon dioxide-powered speedway competition yesterday. Honors Physics students proved science can be fun with this hands-on learning experience demonstrating advanced physics theories. Click here to learn more about this inaugural event as journaled by Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Ms. Chanda Neely

Magnificat is proud to have six seniors named as Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. Only 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Read more by clicking here.

Magnificat students are offering the youth perspective of Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. on their Path to the Pope this weekend. Five Blue Streak "Papal Correspondents" are sharing their feelings, thoughts and reflections by blogging, Tweeting and posting to be the eyes and ears for the Magnificat Community on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Read more by clicking here.

Magnificat has named Mr. Rob Salisbury as the new Head Swimming Coach. Coach Salisbury began his coaching career in 1981, and is a recipient of the prestigious Carl Wirthwein Award for his impact on the sport of swimming in Ohio. Click here to read more about Coach Salisbury.

While other teens were working a summer job or enjoying free time, Magnificat students and faculty were working on the "Pope Francis" house in Cleveland for Habitat for Humanity.<Read more>

Magnificat was asked to participate in a TV3 segment on combating concussions in girls' soccer. Click here to view the story featuring Coach Gretchen Micklitsch and your Blue Streak Soccer team.

Ms. Jen Halliday was recently interviewed by Mrs. Sue Botos of West Life newspaper. Click here to read more about Jen's "homecoming" article in the July 15th edition of this West Shore publication.