A Message from the Presiden’t Den

Grades are overrated, or at least culturally overemphasized and often misused as a measure of goodness and worth.

Exodus Chapter 20 tells us the First Commandment was given as such, “Then God spoke all these words:  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall not have other gods beside me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

This is the modern day parental equivalent of our Heavenly Father saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”  You shall have no other gods beside me, “because I said so.”  Likely, we have all invoked the ‘I said so’ cliché for one reason, we really mean it.

GPA is an objective measure of achievement usually correlated to effort.  Effort and achievement are important but not as important as character, goodness or holiness.

Teaching students how to work to succeed is important.  Working hard is a skill that can be applied in our efforts to do God’s work of leading and changing the world.  A change that may last a thousand generations.

To be truly successful JSerra must provide a good education but more importantly, we must provide an education on how to be good.  I am fairly certain that in a thousand generations people will not be contemplating the impact of GPA on college acceptance rates and median incomes.

However, they will be contemplating God, good and evil.  Grades may be overrated but certainly Goodness and God are underrated.  Take this time at JSerra to learn about what really matters in life and after life.

A Message from Interim President Rob Dolan

If you read the press release then you already know that I attended a Catholic elementary school, a Catholic high school, a Catholic university and a Catholic graduate school.  It seems obvious that Catholic education and my Catholic identity are important to me.

That identity was forged in the pews of St. Peter and St. Paul parish where Fr. Pat O’Keefe delivered soaring sermons seemingly always directed at me.  In middle school Sister Mary Olga spent as much time trying to perfect my soul as she did my grammar and in high school it was Fr. Patrick Travers who made sure that Damien High School left its mark on my heart.

Having JSerra Catholic High School offer the experience of having priests and nuns on campus was integral to our decision to send our children here. We wanted them to have the same opportunity I did to develop their Catholic identity and with weekly mass, retreats and an active Campus Ministry department we knew they would.

Catholic identity is the 
integration of the ideals of Catholicism into all that we do; spiritually, academically, administratively and athletically.

The Catholic tradition of reconciling faith and reason reaches back to St. Thomas Aquinas and informs our academic strategy today. A strong Catholic identity is not a burden on our non-Catholic parent and student population.

In fact, I think most find it inspiring and assuring that we will be reinforcing the values they teach in their Christian homes.  When I encounter a knowledgeable and devout Jewish person, I feel challenged to learn as much about my religion.  When a Christian friend quotes chapter and verse to illustrate a point, I am motivated to further my study of scripture.

Pope John Paul II wrote “The Catholic Church embraces with hope the commitment to ecumenism as a duty of the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love, Jesus himself, at the hour of his passion, prayed ‘that they may all be one,’ (John 17:21).

Therefore, join me in embracing and celebrating JSerra’s commitment to a strong Catholic identity.

JSerra Announces Appointment of Robert Dolan as Interim President

JSerra Catholic High School announced today that the high school has hired Robert Dolan, Jr. as Interim President.

Having attended Catholic school from elementary to graduate school, Dolan, is committed to Catholic education.  He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of San Diego, and spent ten years in the family insurance business honing his management and operations skills.

After growing the company five-fold in ten years, including the startup of two offices and a related finance company, Dolan is ready and anxious to take the helm of the 9-year-old school beginning immediately. He has been appointed to the position for a three-month term with month-to-month commitment thereafter.

“Mr. Dolan has served on our Board of Directors for the past year and through this role, has made significant contributions to the school community in just a few months,” said Tim Busch, JSerra’s Chairman and Co-Founder. “JSerra is blessed to have him in this interim position where he will undoubtedly help the school to grow until a permanent candidate is appointed. Robert has an extraordinary background in management and a thorough understanding of the needs of the JSerra community.”

Dolan was recommended for the interim position by several of his colleagues on the JSerra Board of Directors, approved by the President Search Committee and confirmed by the Board and Trustees.

With Dolan signed on as Interim President, Dr. John Freeh as Principal, and Fr. Robert Spitzer as Rector, JSerra’s leadership is set and ready to make the 2012-2013 school year the best in school history.

Dr. Freeh will take over Principal duties officially on July 9, and has already spent countless hours with administration and faculty to prepare for the coming year. Dr. Freeh, who holds a doctorate in English Renaissance Literature from Oxford University, brings unparalleled academic prowess to the Principal position.

Fr. Spitzer is the former President of Gonzaga University and founder and President of the Magis Institute for Faith & Reason. As JSerra’s Rector for most of the past school year, Fr. Spitzer has been very involved in defining the school’s Catholic identity and setting policies and procedures to ensure our Catholicity is always upheld.

The President Search Committee will continue its search for a permanent President.