The events of the past four days have left me feeling as if I have died and found a little slice of heaven on earth here at JSerra. Perhaps it’s the tremendous weather. Perhaps it’s the dedicated staff. Perhaps it’s the cheerful students. Perhaps it’s the supportive and welcoming parents. Whatever the root cause may be, it is a privilege and honor to serve you as the President of JSerra.
Allow me to provide you with a little of my background. My undergraduate degree is in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois. After spending time in sales in the corporate environment, I decided to return to graduate school and received a masters in English education. That was followed by a move to Spain to teach at an all-boys school near Granada.
Upon my return to the States, I completed a masters in Spanish language and literature at Middlebury College in Vermont. I taught for roughly eight years in two public schools similar in scope and size to JSerra in the suburbs of Chicago while attaining my credentials in educational administration. Immediately prior to joining JSerra, I spent the last six years as the Headmaster of Northridge Prep.
On the personal side, I have the fortune of being married to a wonderful woman, Anne, with whom I have seven children. Our eldest, Katherine, looks forward to becoming a sophomore Lion when my family joins me in June. Until then, I will be commuting home on the weekends in preparation for our permanent move to California.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention in this letter of introduction what most attracted me to JSerra. As I began in earnest the search for my next school leadership opportunity this past summer, I cast my sights to the four corners of the country. (Truth be told I was thinking “the world” but my wife limited me to the 48 continental United States.)
What this process revealed to me was that there are very few schools in America, perhaps less than a handful, with whose mission I so closely identify as that of JSerra, both on a professional and personal level. The notion of an authentically Catholic yet warmly ecumenical learning environment that seeks to promote objective truths for the benefit of students from a variety of faith backgrounds is entirely unique.
This was in evidence today as I witnessed over 1,000 of our students participate in a Eucharistic procession on campus in celebration of the Feast of All Saints. Make no mistake, what also attracted me to JSerra was the vision of offering top-notch academic and extracurricular programs within this framework, thus providing an integral education to our young men and women that enriches them as much spiritually as it does intellectually, physically, and emotionally.
I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible in the coming weeks and months and ask that you keep me in your prayers during this time of transition. Should you find yourself on campus, stop by and introduce yourself — my door is open.
Richard T. Meyer