St. Joseph’s Academy Seeking A New President
April 7, 2021
Dear St. Joseph’s Academy Community:
I want to update you on your Board of Directors search for a new President of St. Joseph’s Academy and on the status of our current President, Dr. Regina Mooney. Earlier this month, our Search Committee broadened the scope of this important search by engaging the services of Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a highly regarded academic search and recruiting firm specializing in Catholic independent schools nationally. This step, which was necessary to ensure that we find the best possible leader to guide us into the future, has already resulted in several highly qualified candidates identified through our joint efforts with Bob Regan, the firm’s Group Practice Leader for the Catholic Schools Practice and Senior Consultant Barbara Dausch.
The next step for Bob and his team is to engage in dialogue with key constituents from our St. Joseph’s Academy community to further discuss priorities about our next leader. A community survey is also being prepared and will be distributed shortly in order to gain additional perspective on our leadership priorities. Our goal is to have a new President hired and on board by this Summer. That said, if the right successor is not in place by summer, I am pleased to tell you that an interim leadership plan for the 2021-2022 school year has been developed and can be put in place as needed. In either scenario, we will prioritize a thorough search to find the right person to lead our wonderful school.
Dr. Mooney will be retiring at the end of the current 2021 academic year. She has made many lasting contributions that have strengthened our school’s ability to thrive and accomplished a great deal in collaboration with the SJA community, including:
- Leading a $7.5mm campus transformation including the state-of-the-art Weidert Center for Integrated Science for STEM-related instruction, the Sisters of St. Joseph Humanities Hall for visual arts education and a new Campus Ministry Center.
- Providing focus on the Admissions, College Advising, and Institutional Advancement Offices which has resulted in increased diversity, college scholarships, alumnae engagement, funding, and financial aid for deserving students.
- Creating and implementing a vision for developing faculty and staff excellence that ensures academic rigor and provides prayer and service opportunities that embody our CSJ Charism and Catholic values.
Dr. Mooney’s successor will, no doubt, be grateful for the gifts of her leadership.
This is an exciting time at St. Joseph’s Academy, and finding the right next President is the Board’s and Search Committee’s top priority. We will update you, our valued community, on our progress as we have news to share and will let you know by early June the status of any possible interim plans. Thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have thoughts or suggestions.
Julia Bigley Mize (’92), Chair, Search Committee
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Founded in 1840, our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.
Our students excel in an environment of world class learning, faith-based education and an emphasis on service to the dear neighbor. Each year between 99 and 100 percent of St. Joseph's Academy graduates go on to college to pursue a wide variety of professions, vocations and avocations. In 2019, 90 percent of graduates received a scholarship. We have an extraordinary faculty and staff, exceptional senior leadership team, influential Board of Directors, and a growing circle of valued alumni, families, friends and supporters.
This Is An Exciting Time For Leadership Transition
St. Joseph’s Academy is on the leading edge of private Catholic high schools for girls in the highly competitive St. Louis, Missouri area. We are delivering on the mission promise of providing a high quality Catholic education and building our financial and operational resilience for the long-term.
Our outstanding academic performance, athletic accomplishments, and community service learning have made us increasingly distinctive and desirable for students and their parents from all walks of life.
- In 2019, Katherine “Katie” Lodes, one of our teachers, received the prestigious Presidential Award in Science Teaching from the White House.
- In 2020, over 23,000 square feet of the physical campus was transformed to deliver state of the art STEM educational facilities, as well as visual arts and humanities educational spaces to better prepare our students for college and beyond.
- Our endowment and fundraising have reached all-time highs, and the school operates at a high standard for responsible financial stewardship in a challenging environment for private education.
- All twelve varsity athletics teams, including the 2019 state championship Golf and Tennis teams, exceeded Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) scholastic achievement standards of a 3.4 grade point average or higher, showing the program’s balanced emphasis on athlete and scholar.
Today we remain focused on expanding access to the Academy’s education through financial support and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This commitment is a priority that strengthens every aspect of the St. Joseph’s Academy community as we recruit and welcome students, faculty and staff of all ethnic backgrounds and faiths.
What We Are Looking For In A New Leader
St. Joseph’s Academy (Academy) in Frontenac, Missouri, a private all-girl high school sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ), invites applicants for the position of President. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, inspirational, and visionary leader who is a practicing Catholic, values education and is also committed to the mission and core values of the school. Additionally, the ideal candidate will provide leadership to faculty and staff for the integration of faith and learning within the school, and drive accountability for all results of the Academy, including implementation of the policies and directives established by the Board of Directors.
Desired qualifications and essential responsibilities include:
- Leads with a faith-filled, Christ-centered, servant approach that embraces and models a culture and community grounded in the CSJ tradition, Catholic values and a welcoming family spirit.
- Practices the Catholic faith with a strong passion for Catholic education.
- Promotes the Academy’s Mission, Core Values and Vision with enthusiasm and passion while fulfilling the mission.
- Develops and implements a strategic admissions plan in an ultra-competitive Catholic environment, with a familiarity for the St. Louis market preferred.
- Manages the challenges and opportunities of a school with the ability to raise funds and market the benefits of an all-girls, private education.
- Collaborates with key stakeholders to support diversity, equity and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, alumnae, donors and the local community.
- Understands how to blend the best of both traditional and modern trends in academics to positively impact curriculum, teacher quality, and
- Demonstrates agility by responding resourcefully and constructively to new demands, priorities, and challenges or obstacles.
- Develops self via regular self‐assessment, planned executive education and skill‐building.
- Master’s degree strongly preferred in the field of education, or related field with extensive professional experience in leading an organization.
The President reports to the Board of Directors.
- We cultivate intellectual distinction.
- We call forth spiritual courage and confidence.
- We believe in a balanced approach to developing the whole woman.
- We encourage leadership & influence through action.
- We foster the desire to serve.
- We expect excellence.
500 students, grades 9-12, all girls
Selective admissions process
Financial aid awarded to 30% of student body
56 faculty - 78% hold advanced degrees
Student: Faculty ratio is 11:1
Class of 2020: 106 graduates – 100% accepted into college – 89% received scholarships - applied to 185 colleges/universities - 471 college acceptances received – attending 49 different colleges – 26 overall ACT average
The Board of Directors has begun the process to search for the next President of St. Joseph's Academy, appointing Julia Bigley Mize ('92) to chair the committee. The committee will provide updates on the progress of the search process via this web page and through direct communications with parents, alumnae, staff and faculty.
Message From the Outgoing President
Dear Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Board of Directors:
With both resolve and a heavy heart, I am informing you of my intent to retire by the end of the academic year 2021. By then I will have reached the point here at St. Joseph’s Academy where my vision has seen the light of day and is either installed in the fabric of the school or has been launched with the promise of endurance.
I believe the time is approaching when a new vision will be a natural next step and with it a new president, fresh with ideas that continue to capture the essence of the Academy while opening wide the possibilities for the future.
It has been my good fortune to work with a team of consummate professionals who constitute the Senior Team and to whom I have turned for counsel and collaboration. On any given day what I have learned from them often has surpassed what I have brought to the table. Together we have charted a course to accomplish a number of goals for the School while making our process represent our values – values given to us by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet as well as our personal convictions. In the spirit of “Not I, But We” much has been achieved.
Together with the faculty we have grounded our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in public statements, new programs and the addition of staff and faculty from different backgrounds. Students of color have more than doubled their part of our enrollment.
We have completed building projects that have given the School a new Center for Campus Ministry, art department and integrated science department. College Advising is now its own department complete with new staff and a new state of the art facility. We accomplished the relocation of external entrances and exits on our campus creating a more expeditious traffic flow.
And it’s not just enhancements of our physical space that we have managed to achieve during my tenure. We made numerous administrative adjustments to capture efficiencies and enhance the student experience. We added a whole new computer science department while adjusting content in other classes to reflect our work in diversity. We are on schedule to complete a 10 million dollar capital campaign for building renewal and scholarships before 2022. And these are just some of the projects we have undertaken since I arrived nearly five years ago from Seattle.
I feel blessed beyond measure for having experienced the care, diligence and thoughtfulness of our staff and faculty, all trusting that we could together “move toward the more” as our Sisters have instructed us to do. I thank God for this opportunity and am gratified to have been able to shepherd St. Joe into a new era of excellence with all the good people who have steered us toward success. Among them are those I have mentioned and also the Board of Directors, parents and alumnae. I have made many friends here among you and I know going forward these friendships will endure.
One of the things that I have cherished while here at St. Joe has been the ability to freely acknowledge the presence of God in all that we do, to call upon God for guidance and to thank God for blessings bestowed. I take none of that for granted, having worked at secular institutions most of my career. The Catholic faith and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph are vibrantly alive on this holy ground at 2307 South Lindbergh Boulevard and they have helped deepen my own faith. Relentlessly I have preached to our girls that our goal here at St. Joseph’s Academy is to help each student grow into her most authentic self as God continues to breathe more life into each of them. I have found a place here where I have been able to most authentically be myself among you and even perhaps find a little more of myself along the way. For the experience of leadership here at St. Joseph’s Academy, with all that it has entailed, I am so very grateful.