Alumni Spotlight: St. Thomas More Catholic School Grad James Patera


Meet James Patera, an alumnus of St. Thomas More Catholic School, whose journey epitomizes a lifelong commitment to education and faith.

Educational background

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Peru State College in Nebraska, focusing on Industrial Technology and Driver Education. He also received a Master’s Degree in Secondary School Administration from Iowa State University, followed by a Specialist Degree in Administration as Superintendent of Schools from Iowa State University.


Influenced by the profound impact of his teachers during his formative years, James embarked on a dedicated forty-year career in education. Throughout his tenure, he worked as a secondary educator, athletic coach, activities director, school administrator at elementary and secondary schools, and Superintendent of Schools at South O’Brien and Oelwein Schools in Iowa. 

Spiritual life

 James says his success in education and his steadfast commitment to his Catholic faith to the guidance of his mentor, Father Clement Branch, and the invaluable foundation laid during his Catholic schooling. James embraced a spiritual calling, becoming an ordained Deacon 15 years ago. In this capacity, he has served devoutly in parishes in Oelwein and Fairbank, IA, enriching the lives of these parish communities with his deep faith and unwavering dedication. Today, James continues to shape the landscape of Catholic education as a respected member of the Archdiocese of Dubuque School Board of Education. 

We honor and thank James for a lifetime devoted to pursuing education and enriching spiritual growth within the Catholic tradition.


Consortium School Alumni, we want to hear from YOU! Whether you’ve pursued a career in tech, started your own business, or are making waves by volunteering in your community, we want to showcase the incredible journeys of our alumni – across both our current six Catholic schools AND the legacy schools within our South Omaha footprint. Share your successes, challenges, and advice with us, and inspire the next generation of students. Complete the short Google form to share your story with us! Feel free to forward to a friend.