As Sacred Heart School continues to move forward with its Strategic Growth Plan Initiatives, school leaders have announced a restructuring of the administrative team.

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, SHS will implement a President-Principal Leadership Model. Principal Dr. Mark Register will assume the role of president of the school. Sacred Heart is searching for a principal and an assistant principal to complete the leadership team.

“The Sacred Heart School community including many of St. Vincent de Paul parishioners invested in an outside firm to assist in a Strategic Growth Plan,” Fr. Joe Corel explained. “One of the goals that came from the plan was to increase the administrative team of our pre-K through 12th grade school so that more time could be devoted to faith formation, student development, academic excellence, professional development and still have an active visible face to the community. In today's culture and atmosphere, it is too much to ask one administrator with a dean of students to accomplish all of these components of a pre-K through 12 grade school to the excellent standards we desire to give to our families and faculty.”

Register notified parents of the proposed changes in late December.

“I will assume the President’s role,” Register wrote in a letter to parents. “In doing this I will cut back to part-time status and my salary will reflect that reduction in hours. I will also continue to teach one high school religion class.”

Register’s letter states the school will hire a full-time principal who will most likely teach one high school or dual-credit course. A part-time principal will also be hired and will be assigned three hours in the classroom in addition to part-time administration responsibilities. The dual teaching and administrative duties are in line with current procedures as Register and Dean of Students Sam Jones both teach at the school.

“By utilizing the savings incurred from my salary reduction and having each of the administrators assume some teaching responsibility the administrative salaries line item in the budget is projected to remain at the same level in 2020-21 that it is currently at in the 2019-20 budget,” Register noted in his letter. “It is with enthusiasm that I tell you this implementation should have very little impact on the budget’s bottom line! We remain committed to holding firm with expenditures.” 

According to information from Corel, the role of the president is to take responsibilities of the school outside classroom and student issues. 

“For example, ensuring the school is seen as a ministry of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, budgets, fundraising, maintenance, representing the school at professional organizations,” Corel said. “The two administrators within the building can then focus on all areas of the day to day operations of the school: developing the whole student into being a Disciple of Jesus Christ using his or her God given abilities to make this a better world as they cooperate with God's graces to get to Heaven and assist as many people on the journey as possible. 

Corel added the administrators will also work with teachers by offering professional development, evaluations and other ways to improve.  

Corel noted that as a pre-K through 12th grade school, the administrative needs differ from other Catholic schools in the Diocese.  

“Our primary reason for needing two administrators inside the building for the day to day operations of the school is because of the needs to bring out the best in a first grader and the teacher who teaches first grade at the same time bringing out the best in a junior and senior in high school while bringing out the best in advanced math and science teachers, our religion teachers and every teacher on our school family team,” he continued. “At the same time, we still need the other components of running the Catholic school at the highest professional level possible without anyone or any part being neglected.”

The school’s leadership hopes to see a number of improvements as they move forward with the changes.

“This school management model provides us with continuity and a potential line of leadership succession moving into the future,” Register noted to parents. “If one member of the leadership team moves on for any reason, other members of the team remain in place to keep school improvement initiatives going forward. It is also reasonable to assume that individuals in one role of administration might accept promotions into larger roles as skills and experiences are developed.”

Sacred Heart hopes to offer contracts for both the principal and assistant principal by May. Those interested in applying for either position can contact Register at 660-827-3900 or mregister@gogremlins.com.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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