After forty-nine years of dedicated service in Catholic education, Marsha Solana recently retired from the Texas Catholic Conference. At the time of her departure, she served as Associate Director of the organization’s Department of Education. Solana worked in a variety of roles throughout her prestigious career, including years as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in the Diocese of Austin and Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
In her most recent position at the Texas Catholic Conference, Solana coordinated, tracked and reviewed all of the visits, reports and documentation required by the Department of Education’s Accreditation Commission. As the Associate Director, she was also responsible for training team members and chairpersons for school accreditation visits across Texas.
Solana received numerous accolades for the commitment to excellence she demonstrated throughout her career in Catholic education. Earlier this year, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez and the Diocese of Austin acknowledged her body of work with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its Annual Celebrating Catholic Schools Dinner.
After receiving this special recognition, Solana touched the large crowd at the event with an emotional acceptance speech. “Receiving this award is an honor and a little bittersweet,” she observed. “This night, January 24th, four years ago, my husband, George Solana, left this world to be with God. He also served many years in Catholic educational ministry. I accept this award as a tribute to him as well. He was my greatest mentor, and I know he is happy and very grateful.”
In her retirement, Solana plans to improve her gardening skills, sample more from Austin’s expanding menu of new restaurants, travel, and stay actively involved with the Texas Catholic Conference. She is already working on a large research project for the Catholic Archives of Texas and hopes to pursue future opportunities for historical exploration.
“Marsha’s dedicated service to our organization has been a true blessing,” remarked Margaret McGettrick, Director of Education for the Texas Catholic Conference. “Her distinguished years of service in the classroom, the diocesan level, as well as the Texas Catholic Conference provided us invaluable insight and leadership that will be greatly missed. Despite Marsha’s retirement, she will always remain a dear friend to me, as well as the Catholic school children, teachers, and administrators of Texas.”