Press Room

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.


Magnificat Messenger--August 2015 ENewsletter

Magnificat Magazine--Summer 2015

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

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

Previous Years

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.


Contacts:  •  Karen Uthe Semancik, Director of Marketing, 440.331.1572, ext. 282, kuthe[at]maghs[dot]org
                •  P. Kelly Tompkins, Chairperson, Board of Directors, kelly.tompkins[at]cliffsnr[dot]com

1995 Graduate Selected to be School’s Next President.

(ROCKY RIVER, OH) – Magnificat High School’s Board of Directors, with the approval of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jenifer Hebda Halliday ‘95 as the school’s next President effective July 1, 2015. She succeeds Sister Helen Jean Novy, H.M., who has served as Interim President since January.

Ms. Halliday has extensive school leadership experience, currently serving as Director of Hawken Middle School and as a member of Hawken School’s Administrative Council. She has worked at Hawken since 2005, serving in many roles, including teaching, admissions, student life, special projects and administration. She also spent three years at ACS Hillingdon International School in London as a teacher and curriculum coordinator. Ms. Halliday started her professional career at Magnificat in 2000, where she taught social studies for two years.

The native Clevelander and Fairview Park resident’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in History and Education, and a Master of Arts in Education Administration, both from John Carroll University. She has also served as an instructor at John Carroll in graduate-level education through the school’s Site Based Program.

Ms. Halliday is active with and has served on many national and international educational committees and panels, including as Chair of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) Self-Study Committee on Middle School Program, as a presenter at the INDEX Annual Conference on The Benefits of Measuring School Culture and Climate and as a panel expert at the Mission Skills Assessment (MSA) Annual Conference on Teaching Character and Shaping Culture. Earlier this year, she was invited to participate in Oxford University’s Conference on Virtue Ethics, and last year presented a paper at Oxford entitled Using Culture as a Teaching Tool for Character Education.

As President of Magnificat, Ms. Halliday will be charged with a wide range of responsibilities, including implementing the strategic plan, directing advancement and alumnae initiatives, and overseeing marketing and admissions campaigns. She will be the school’s fourth President and second lay leader.

“I am truly honored to return to my alma mater to serve as its next President. Having started my professional career at Magnificat, I feel blessed to rejoin this supportive and faithful community. As we enter into our next chapter, I look forward to working together to uphold Magnificat’s Mission and support the growth of our extraordinary young women,” says Ms. Halliday.

“It is an exciting time for Magnificat High School. After a three-month search, the Search Committee, Board of Directors, and Sisters of the Humility of Mary were convinced that Jen’s experience, zeal, and passion for education and the empowerment of young women will be invaluable to the Magnificat Community. Jen understands and appreciates the virtues of teaching and learning and is most eager to lead a Catholic, faith-based school,” says Ambassador Heather Hodges ‘64, Chairperson of the Search Committee and a member of the Magnificat High School Board of Directors.

“Our Search Committee dedicated itself to a thorough process throughout, and the candidates were highly attracted to our exemplary school. Among the diverse array of highly qualified professionals, we have found in Jen a true academic leader who understands the Magnificat Mission and who will be a inspirational role model for our young women,” says Mr. Kelly Tompkins, Chairperson of the Magnificat High School Board of Directors.

“Jen will be joining an experienced and talented Senior Leadership Team, and I am confident her collaborative leadership style will help this team realize an even brighter future for our school. Jen comes with the unanimous and enthusiastic support of our Board with whom she will be closely working to advance our strategic plan objectives,” he adds.

Ms. Halliday enjoys spending time with her family--husband, Chris Halliday, and twin daughters, Molly and Maddie. She makes time for cooking, writing, reading and running, and is a Girl Scout leader.

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. The school’s Mission is to educate young women holistically to learn, lead and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat.

Magnificat High School is located at 20770 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River.

Juniors Malia Minarik and Alexis Schweibinz won second place in the recent Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Business Plan Competition for their business ASMM Jewelry & Metal Arts. You can read more about their business as featured in

Drones and Robots and Physics, oh my! Honors Physics classes created quite a buzz when a drone was used to capture their robotics lab work. Click here to read more and see a photo gallery, as reported on

Magnificat High School's Mary Grace Becker '15 collected 179 pairs of jeans for the Teens for Jeans campaign that benefits homeless teens. Read her story as reported on in the West Life newspaper. 

Magnificat High School today announced that Mrs. Julie Sims Gibbons '80 becomes the school's first VP of Institutional Advancement. To read the announcement in its entirety, please click here.

The Magnificat High School Board of Directors today announced that Sister Helen Jean Novy, H.M., currently Magnificat's Vice President of Mission, has been appointed Interim President during the pendency of the school's search process. More.

Magnificat High School today announced that Mr. Paul Barlow will become the school's new Athletic Director as of mid-March 2015. To read the announcement in its entirety, please click here. To read the story on, click here.

Magnificat High School today announced that Mrs. Renata J. Rafferty will step down in June 2015 after completing two years of service as the school’s first lay President. The Board of Directors accepted Mrs. Rafferty’s request to conclude her service at the end of the current school year. Please click here to read the press release in its entirety. 

Magnificat is proud to have two Semifinalists 
in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Competition: Caitrin Campbell and Alexandra Norris, and four Commended students: Caitlyn Harrington, Hanleigh Heinzmann, Megan Hricovec and Elizabeth Leszcz. Congratulations, ladies! Please click here to see a photo of these students, and click here to read more in the West Shore Chatter column of the West Shore Sun newspaper.

Thanks to the generous support of the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary and the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, a 20' x 24' Hoop House has been installed on the grounds of Magnificat. Student volunteers will be growing vegetables in the house to donate to area food banks. The Hoop House will also be used as a classroom space. Reporter Mrs. Sue Botos from West Life newspaper recently visited Magnificat to share this story with Westshore residents, and you can read the article in its entirety by clicking here.