Update from the Search Committee:
As the Search Committee nears completion of its diligence on candidates for the President position, I provide this update on the President search.
The Search Committee members and our consultants at Carney Sandoe & Associates are enthusiastic about both the progress to date and the search process generally. Enthusiastic because the response of potential candidates for the President position was extraordinary, both in terms of their sincere interest in the position and the breadth of the response. Enthusiastic because the quality and obvious ability of candidates who placed themselves in consideration for the President position provide affirmation that our search process will lead us to an individual who possesses the qualities and experience which will be required of the next President of St. X.
A few facts about the response to our President search provide context to the enthusiasm of Search Committee and CSA, and bring you up-to-date on the status of the search:
- Beginning with the nationwide launch of the President search on both ST. X and CSA websites, and direct email contacts by CSA with hundreds of search prospects, CSA sent approximately 100 follow-up, targeted communications to qualified individuals.
- Based upon responses from this group, a matrix of some 60 potential candidates representing 16 states (KY, MD, AZ, NJ, IN, PA, MA, GA, CA, NY, FL, RI, CT, IL, MT, TX), the District of Columbia, and two foreign countries, was developed by CSA.
- The number of targeted communications, the size of the candidate matrix, and the geographic mix of candidates, all far exceeded the norm for secondary school head-of-school (i.e., president) searches.
- Primarily through a process of self-elimination by potential candidates in conversation with CSA, 16 candidates were presented to the Search Committee, along with extensive supporting materials from the candidates, for consideration.
- All 16 candidates were highly credentialed and included current heads of school/presidents, emerging leaders (e.g., associate head of school), individuals from higher education, and non-traditional candidates (e.g., individuals from positions outside of education).
Eight semi-finalist candidates were selected by the Search Committee following a week of discernment, and evaluation and discussion of candidates’ resumes and supporting materials. Individual interviews by the Search Committee with the semi-finalists were conducted on December 7 and 8. Three finalists clearly emerged and were selected unanimously. The names of finalists and their biographical information will be shared prior to their on-campus visits in January.
Given the confidential nature of most details about the President search, I am unable to tell you anything much about the semi-finalist candidates. One thing you should know and appreciate is the extent to which the candidates were familiar with and spoke to the Mission and Vision of St. X, our embrace of the Xaverian charism, and our whole-student educational experience.
What I also can share with you are comments and observations from the materials submitted by some of our candidates, which give you a window into the thoughtfulness and insight that all of the candidates presented for consideration in the President search:
- “The essence of a school is realized and revealed by the conscious living out of core values.”
- “It is essential for St. X to stay true to its roots and the vision of the Xaverian Brothers with the ever-changing climate of educational trends and paradigms.”
- “The finest schools have not only a comprehensive, innovative curriculum and appropriate academic rigor, but also a commitment to address and support the disparate learning styles of all students without compromising high academic expectations.”
- “I have great respect for traditions and ceremony. I learn from them because they hold the kernels of the institution’s history and mission.”
- “Everything centers on the student experience. The premiere student experience is our loadstar.”
Each candidate presented to the Search Committee understood and had first-hand experience with the mission-driven school, the value of an all-boys educational setting, and the benefits and opportunities of a Catholic school experience.
The finalists each will be brought to campus for two days of meetings with our stakeholder groups and the Board in January 2020. After feedback is received from the stakeholder group meetings, a special called Board meeting will be held in early February for the purpose of selecting the next President of St. X.
Throughout this search process, we have been guided by the Position Description and profile of the next President of Saint Xavier High School, which were shaped by the comments that we received from so many of you, either in person during the on-campus focus group meetings, or in response to the on-line survey which was open to the entire St. X Community. Of course, foundational to the Position Description and President profile are core principles that have served as beacons throughout the 155-year history of Saint Xavier – Catholic identity, Xaverian values, and academic excellence. Quite an exceptional “roadmap” for our President search!
Thank you for your continued engagement in this process and for all that you bring to Saint Xavier High School.
The Search Committee will continue to keep our Saint Xavier Community updated on the progress of the search.
Teresa Riggs – Search Committee Chair, Board Vice Chair
Paul Humphrey '01 - Advisor to the Board, Parent of current student; Commander, Louisville Metro Police Department
John McCarthy '86 - Board Member
Dan McCue, M. Ed. - Faculty; Department Chair, Science
Theresa Neichter, M.A.T. - Faculty; Department Chair, Science
David Hardy '83 - Board Member
Patrick Slattery. Ed. D - Executive Director, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools
Kevin Smith '71 - Board Chair
Margy Thomas - Advisor to the Board; former Board Member; former Member, Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools
Paul Varga '81 - Board Member