Directory of Offices - Office of Catholic Schools
The Schools Office serves the 22 elementary and 3 high schools in the Diocese of Gary. There are 15 elementary schools and 2 high schools in Lake County; 3 elementary schools in Porter County; and 4 elementary schools and 1 high school in LaPorte County. All the schools are accredited by the state of Indiana.
The Catholic Schools of the Diocese are an essential part of the total educational mission of the Church of Gary. Because all but three schools are parish based, much authority and responsibility for the implementation of the mission of the Catholic school lies with local pastor/principal leadership. The Catholic Schools Office provides services, resources, and facilitates for the Catholic school communities.
Barbara M. O'Block, Ed.D.
Barbara M. O’Block, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Gary, is also an adjunct professor, formerly assistant professor, in the Department of Education at Calumet College of Saint Joseph in Whiting, Indiana.
Previous to this, Dr. O’Block served as Associate Superintendent at the Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago. In this role she supervised a team of professionals in the following areas: special education services, staff development, technology, school boards, family/school partnerships, external and federally-funded programs, Catholic school identity and mission, personnel services, and the state and archdiocesan school accreditation/certification processes.
Dr. O’Block’s entire professional career had been with the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic school system. She began her tenure in the Archdiocese as a classroom teacher, teaching at nearly every elementary grade level. She later served as principal of three different schools in Vicariate VI of the Archdiocese.
Barbara O’Block earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from De Lourdes College and studied music (piano performance) at Saint Joseph College. She holds a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction; both advanced degrees were awarded by Loyola University, Chicago.
Dr. O’Block has presented at conferences both locally and nationally and has been a strong advocate of professional development.
Dr. O’Block is married to John, a parish business manager. They have a son, John, a daughter Katie (Jose) and a granddaughter.
Darlene B. Marchina, M.S.
Coordinator of School Visits
Darlene Marchina, Coordinator of School Visits for the Schools Office of the Diocese of Gary, has served the diocese in several ministries for her entire professional career.
She taught Gr. 3 and Gr. 4 at St. Casimir School in Hammond from 1969-1979 and also taught in the religious education program. From 1980 through 1983, she became a religious education catechist at St. Elizabeth Seton in Valparaiso. In 1983, she became a Religious Education Coordinator and continued to serve the families of St. Elizabeth Seton as a Primary Sacramental Coordinator through 1999.
She became the Coordinator of School Visits in January, 2000. In her role working for the Schools Office, Darlene works collaboratively with the Superintendent to share the vision and mission of Catholic schools. She assists the Superintendent in the design and implementation of staff development, prepares faculty contracts, maintains personnel files and databases of teacher and substitute applicants, coordinates the teacher internship and mentoring process, assists with submission of files to the Indiana Department of Education, and collaborates with the Foreign Exchange Program liaison.
Darlene also serves as the Virtus Coordinator for the Safe Environment Program and coordinates the Tuition Assistance Program.
Darlene is a 1961 graduate of St. Casimir School and a 1965 graduate of Bishop Noll Institute. In 1969 she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana). In 1973 she received her Master’s Degree in Education and a Reading Endorsement from Purdue University Calumet (Hammond), in 1984, a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Calumet College of St. Joseph (Whiting), and in 1993, a Diploma of Ministry in Catechetics from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
She has served as President of the Hammond Area Reading Council, the St. Mary Catholic Community School Board (Crown Point), and Holy Spirit Parish Pastoral Council.
Darlene is married to Bob, a retired school teacher. They have four sons, Patrick, Ryan, Kevin, and Kyle. They are members of Holy Spirit (Winfield) where Darlene serves as lector, extraordinary minister of communion, catechist, RCIA sponsor, and member of St. Vincent DePaul Ministry.