Debra Brillante, who has nearly 25 years of experience as a Catholic educator, has been named superintendent of elementary schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Her appointment, announced Wednesday by the Office of Catholic Education, takes effect immediately.

Brillante, 60, had held the post on an interim basis since November when Jacqueline P. Coccia left to become the academic dean at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, a private Catholic girls' school in Villanova.

The archdiocese said Brillante was chosen to lead the 122 Catholic elementary schools in the five-county archdiocese after a search led by Educational Strategies, a Baltimore firm that specializes in parochial education.

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Brillante joined the archdiocese to assume the interim post after serving four years as assistant superintendent for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Syracuse.

Christopher Mominey, chief operating officer and secretary for the Office of Catholic Education, said he had worked with Brillante both in Syracuse and Philadelphia.

He said that over the last six months in Philadelphia, Brillante "has demonstrated that her style, approach, and personal commitment to our mission in Catholic education are a perfect match for us as an organization at this critically important time. Although our search process led to us reviewing candidates from across the nation, in the end Debbie proved to be the exact fit for us."

Brillante has a master's degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Oswego and a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam.

She also holds a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from Le Moyne College in Syracuse. 215-854-2789 @marwooda