Bishop Joseph E. Strickland is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Darbie Dallman Safford as Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Tyler.

Safford, who will also continue to serve as principal of St. Mary Catholic School in Longview, begins her role as superintendent on July 1.

“I am pleased that Dr. Safford will be serving as our diocesan superintendent and sharing her gifts and knowledge with all Catholic schools in the diocese,” said Bishop Strickland. “She brings over 35 years of experience at the college, high school, middle school, and elementary school levels, as a teacher, counselor, and principal to this important leadership position in service of our students, parents, and school faculty and staff.”

As superintendent, Safford will ensure compliance with educational requirements and serve as a professional resource for the Catholic schools in the diocese, which include Bishop Gorman in Tyler (6-12), St. Gregory in Tyler (PreK-5), St. Mary in Longview (PreK-12), and St. Patrick in Lufkin (PreK-8). The superintendent assists the bishop with oversight of schools while collaborating closely with pastors and principals to ensure accreditation standards are maintained. The superintendent also works to enhance the Catholic nature of education programs.

“I believe strongly in Catholic education, in providing students with a well-rounded, faith-filled foundation, and in providing educators with opportunities to share their faith as well as their academic expertise,” said Safford. “I consider myself to be a servant leader, utilizing my faith, my education, and my experience to advance the mission of Catholic education.”

Safford holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a graduate certificate in Catholic School Leadership, from the University of Dallas.

Prior to beginning her position as principal at St. Mary’s in 2019, Safford served as principal of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Richardson. She also served as a language arts teacher and curriculum coordinator at St. Monica School in Dallas, as a language arts teacher at Holy Family of Nazareth School in Irving, and as director of admissions and college counseling at The Highlands School in Irving.  She has served on the Diocese of Dallas Elementary Principals Association Board, the Diocese of Dallas Curriculum Committee, and as a principal mentor.

Safford succeeds Robin Perry who has accepted a position with the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops Education Department.