CHICAGO—August 11, 2021—De La Salle Institute (De La Salle) announces a change in the Office of the President as Fr. Paul Novak, OSM shared with faculty and staff today that he will be stepping down as president at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
“We are grateful to Fr. Paul for his leadership as president at De La Salle Institute,” said Board of Directors Chair Paul D. McCoy ’68. “Our school has grown stronger and more vibrant during his 14-year tenure as president. We wish him well as he embarks on the next chapter of his life. As we work together on next steps in the Office of the President, I am thankful to our faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni for their dedication to our Lasallian mission of education.”
Novak told faculty and staff that it is time for someone else to continue to advance the Lasallian mission of education at De La Salle—a school established over 133 years ago with the vision, drive, and determination of Brother Adjutor of Mary and the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Brothers) to help Chicago’s children grow strong in spirit, mind, and body.
“I am grateful to the Brothers for their confidence in me to lead this faculty and staff, our students, families, alumni, benefactors and friends,” acknowledged Novak. “I have enjoyed every minute of this opportunity and my 23-year relationship with the school—nine of which I spent as a teacher, coach, moderator, and campus minister.”
A 14-year Legacy and Ministry
Novak highlighted several achievements at De La Salle that occurred over the past 14 years, including:
· A historic moment for the school when it was decided to move forward and complete its transformation into a co-educational school.
· The school made advances in its utilization of technology and implementation of its STREAM curriculum.
· The campus took on a new look as it underwent an entire renovation of the academic buildings, the addition of Harrison Hall to the Parmer Center, and the creation of Parente Field.
· While every gift, large or small, advances the mission of the school there are several that standout:
o The largest bequest ever in the school’s history, a gift of over $5.4 million, through the generosity of Mr. Carroll Harrison ’64.
o An additional $2 million raised through the Great Futures Gala sponsored by the Extollo Educational Foundation.
o The Meteoric Capital Campaign raised an additional $4.5 million for the advancement of the school.
· The school survived its second pandemic and COVID-19 proved that the school was ready to deliver a world-class education safely and effectively remotely and in-person.
A Healthy Trajectory for De La Salle
Novak affirmed that De La Salle is a healthy and vibrant Lasallian and Catholic school poised for long-term success. He implored faculty and staff to “continue working together, supporting each other, and dedicating themselves to recruiting more families and students while also providing our current parents and families with a world-class experience.”
He directly addressed faculty and staff by saying “I cannot express enough my extreme gratitude for the opportunity to have ministered alongside all of you. I have watched with great admiration and gratitude the way in which you pivoted during this pandemic, embraced technology, and assured that our students would succeed in their education. You are the best of what this world needs and I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”
“This institution is blessed with great students and families, a dedicated faculty and staff, a healthy endowment, opportunities for growth, a dedicated and generous alumni and great benefactors,” noted Novak. “As our world continues to evolve, there will be challenges, but working together, we can navigate the future.”
In October of this year, the Board of Directors will begin a search for a new president to guide the Meteors into the future.
De La Salle Institute, founded by the Brothers of the Christian schools, has served the students of Chicagoland for over 130 years making it the third oldest Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Chicago. De La Salle fosters the Lasallian values of faith, service, community and a passion for academic and athletic excellence. Learn more at www.dls.org.
David Terry, firstname.lastname@example.org; 312-842-7355 x 145