Search for new Father Ryan president has begun 

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The search for the next president of Father Ryan High School is under way, Bill Stejskal, the chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, wrote in a letter to the Father Ryan community. 

“Our intention is to select and hire the next president of Father Ryan High School so that individual can begin on July 1, 2022,” Stejskal wrote. “With that as goal, there is also unanimous agreement among everyone involved that it is mission critical to recruit an exceptional leader who will advance the school’s ideals and continued evolution as a flagship in Catholic education.” 

The first step in the search process was the appointment of an Advisory Team. Stejskal serves as co-chair of the Advisory Team along with Brian Cooper, Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer of the diocese, and Dr. Rebecca Hammel, Chief Schools Officer and superintendent of schools. The co-chairs, representing the Board of Trustees and the Diocese of Nashville, will lead the search. 

The Advisory Panel members are: 

  • Father Mark Beckman, pastor, St. Henry Church.  
  • David Bohan, 1966 Father Ryan graduate and past chair of the school’s Board of Trustees. 
  • John Bumpus, 1978 graduate and vice chair of the Board of Trustees. 
  • David Glascoe, past chair of the Board of Trustees.  
  • Chris Meriwether, 2006 graduate and chair of the Father Ryan Alumni Board.  
  • Julie (Shaninger) Norfleet, 1988 graduate and past chair of Board of Trustees. 

“Our Advisory Panel represents a broad spectrum of the Father Ryan community,” Stejskal wrote. “They will bring familiarity with the school and provide insight throughout the process.” 

After reviewing proposals from a number of national recruitment firms, a contract to facilitate the search process has been awarded to Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions. 

“Partners in Mission is nationally-recognized for its work in Catholic education, and the firm has experience and familiarity with Father Ryan High School and a number of other schools in the diocese,” Stejskal wrote. “They will work with us to develop the search prospectus, which will provide information on Father Ryan and its legacy, and manage the national recruiting effort.” 

Aimee Viana with Partners in Mission has toured the campus and conducted 10 focus groups involving more than 100 individuals from the Father Ryan community.  

“The sessions included: Bishop J. Mark Spalding and several senior priests from the diocese with close familiarity of Father Ryan High School; the Board of Trustees; the Father Ryan leadership team; representatives from the faculty and staff; a group of parents; members of the alumni community; and a cross section of students,” Stejskal wrote. “Once the prospectus has been prepared, Partners in Mission will officially market the position nationwide through their various networks as well as on the Father Ryan High School website and the Diocese of Nashville website.” 

In the letter, Stejskal promised to continue to communicate with the Father Ryan community as the search reaches key milestones and the Advisory Team has specific information to share. 

“This is an exciting and important time for Father Ryan High School as we approach our Centennial year in 2024-2025,” Stejskal wrote. “I know that the co-chairs and the members of the Advisory Panel are honored to be part of this process, and we are committed to identifying and hiring an outstanding individual to be the next president of our school.” 

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