Catholic Diocese of Richmond

Search Parishes

Superintendent of Schools Appointed for Catholic Diocese of Richmond

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. – Following a nationwide search, Bishop Barry C. Knestout announces the appointment of Dr. Michael Riley as superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, effective July 1, 2024. He replaces the current Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jennifer Bigelow, who will conclude her time as interim superintendent on June 30, 2024.

“My experiences in Catholic education, from teaching to leading as a principal, have been deeply personal and enriching,” said Dr. Michael Riley. “They taught me the importance of understanding the challenges and joys that come with each role. As superintendent, I want to use this firsthand knowledge to support our principals in providing the best possible environment for both teachers and students. I believe that by nurturing our educators and providing them with the tools they need, we can create a space where students thrive academically and spiritually, shaping them into individuals who make a positive impact in our society.”

For the past two years, Dr. Riley has served as associate superintendent of school operations for the diocese. He brings 25 years of Catholic education experience to his new role. Prior to serving in diocesan administration, he was Charlottesville Catholic School’s principal for ten years, where the school received two National Blue Ribbon awards for academic excellence. Additionally, Dr. Riley has served in several administrative and teaching roles in Catholic education.

Dr. Riley graduated from Barton College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree. He received his Master of Education and Doctor of Education in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from the College of William and Mary. Dr. Riley and his wife have two children who have both attended Catholic schools in the diocese.

“Each school has its own unique story, its own traditions, and its own challenges. I’m eager to celebrate those differences and work collaboratively to address the specific needs of each community,” said Dr. Riley.

With the assumption of his new role, Dr. Riley will serve on the Bishop’s Cabinet and work in partnership with the Diocesan Advisory School Board, a consultative board to the bishop of Richmond and superintendent of schools.

The Diocese of Richmond has more than 9,400 total enrolled students in 30 elementary, middle and high schools throughout the diocese.