Board of Directors

The six Consortium schools are collaborative, diverse and innovative. Our board of directors is no different. Their collective prior involvement with school boards and archdiocesan committees, as well as their professional experience, all help make the Consortium's success possible.

A message from the Board of Directors

board of directors head shot

From John L. Maginn, Board Chair:

The Omaha Catholic School Consortium is in its seventh year. As Chair of the Consortium Board, I would like to briefly share some of its accomplishments.

Our model is gaining acceptance in diocese across the United States. It is proving to be an excellent education/business model that makes Catholic education more accessible, affordable and sustainable, especially in urban areas.


Some of the strengths and accomplishments of the Consortium have been:

-Increasing enrollment in the original five Consortium schools, and most recently, the Dual Language Academy, by almost 32% in the past six years from 1,401 students in 2013-2014 to 1,845 students in the current 2019-2020 school year
-Reducing the per student cost to educate by more than 10%, to less than $5,000
-Operating at or near capacity at two Consortium schools
-Adopting new learning methods, such as balanced literacy and blended learning, which enable teachers to assess each student's learning abilities and better personalize their instruction
-Adding first grade to the Dual Language Academy, now in its second year, serving 133 pre-school through first grade students, from 24 different zip codes
-Partnering with nearly 300 supporters who gifted $266,000 to our mission in 2018-2019 alone

Read the full letter in our annual report.

Read the board member bios below.

Current Board Members

John Maginn, Board Chair

John served as chair of the Omaha Archdiocesan Educational Foundation, was a member of the Inner City Catholic Schools Task Force, Urban Regional Elementary Catholic School board and a member of the CORE board. John is chairman of the Consortium board and on its executive and finance committees. He is a member of St. Leo the Great parish.

Chris Nelson, Executive Director

Chris Nelson is proud to have worked in education for nearly thirty years. All of her teaching and administrative experiences have been in the schools of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Chris’s teaching experience spanned 17 years and included all grades from 2nd-8th. She served as an administrator for ten years at St. Mary’s and Holy Cross Schools, worked as Coordinator for Professional Development for the Archdiocese of Omaha, and is now the Executive Director for the Omaha Catholic School Consortium.

Jay Vankat, Finance Committee

Jay is Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. Jay served on the board of the Gross Catholic High School Endowment Foundation, the Skutt Catholic High School Advisory Board (as both a member and board chair) and is a member of the Archbishop’s Committee for Development. Jay serves on the board’s executive and finance committees. He is an Assumption and Gross Catholic High alumnus and a member of St. Vincent de Paul parish.

Tammy Blossom, Development Committee

Tammy has been a member of several education and archdiocesan committees including: Urban Regional Education board, Archbishop’s Committee for Development, Latino Catholic Education Scholarship Fund, advisory council for the Children’s Scholarship Fund, school advisory council for Assumption Guadalupe, Madonna School Friends board, Columbia University Urban Education board through the School of International and Public Affairs, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Development Committee and the Kauffman Foundation Education board. Tammy serves on the board’s executive and development committees and is a member of St. Vincent de Paul parish.

Shannan Brommer, Development Committee

Shannan is the current director of the Office of Stewardship & Development for the Archdiocese of Omaha. She has also worked in development at Marian High School. Shannan serves as chairperson of the board’s development committee and as a member of the executive committee

Dr. Sarah Kottich, Finance Committee

Sarah is the executive vice president of operations & planning at the College of St. Mary. Prior to this role, she served as the chief financial officer for College of St. Mary for over 10 years. Sarah also serves on the finance committee of the Conference for Higher Education at Mercy High School. She serves on the Consortium board’s finance and executive committees. A St. Bernadette and Gross Catholic High alumnae, Sarah is a member of St. Charles Borromeo parish.

Dr. Michael Ashton, Superintendent of Schools

As Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Ashton serves on the board’s executive and finance committees.  His experience prior to his role as superintendent includes 13 years as a secondary and elementary school administrator; he served both public and Catholic schools.  In addition, he served as a classroom teacher in Pennsylvania for 21 years.  Mike completed his doctoral program in 2010 from Immaculata University near Philadelphia.