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A Letter From the President

As I was thinking about what to say here, I went to the 1938 yearbook to look up my dad’s freshman picture. He started here in the fall of 1937, and that early photo shows him standing with his classmates on the vine covered front steps of Loyola Hall, hair slicked back and with a serious look on his face, as though he knew that this coming experience would change his life forever – and it did.

When he arrived here, Loyola Hall was 20 years old, and Ruppert Hall was a mere 11 years old. There were other smaller facilities on the tiny campus, but it was in those two buildings that the education and formation of my dad into the good, kind, intelligent, caring, conscientious, loving person that he was took place. It also happened there for me, my three brothers, my uncle, my brother-in-law, and various nephews as well as countless friends and mentors. And it is where it continues to happen to this day.

I say all of this because for the last 18 years I have had the privilege of being the President of Loyola High School. My hope is that, in that role, I have helped this institution continue the formation of young men in the same way that my own time as a student here at Loyola formed me.

I am a Jesuit because of Loyola, and the power of the Loyola experience continues to mold me and free me to serve God as I am called to do that service.

I am also an obedient Jesuit, and so, after consultation with our Fr. Provincial, at the end of the next academic year, 2024 – 2025, my service here will end. After a sabbatical, I will move on to other work that I can only hope will be as profoundly enriching as my time here as president has been.

I make this announcement with a certain sadness, but with even more – and infinite – gratitude. I also know that the time is right – next January I will turn 70, and I will have completed 19 years in this role, and 20 years since coming back in 2005 (my first year I started the adult spirituality program before I was named president). In all of that time, I think Loyola has become a better, more modern Jesuit School, yet all the while preserving and enhancing our unique Catholic/Ignatian charism. We have grown as an institution as we have grown as human beings, and that is a wonderful accomplishment.

And I have been the luckiest man in the world to have had a job at an institution that I care about so deeply, that has been such an important part of my and my family’s life, and that is such an essential part of our great and good Los Angeles community.

When I finish here, I go with the blessing of our Provincial and the province. I will also use that sabbatical to discern where and how I go forward. I hope that includes some way to stay a part of the Southern California community that I love, but that is for further discussion in the months ahead.

For now please know that I am grateful to all of you, our Loyola community, for your support of this great work of God, as well as grateful for your support of me. Please keep me in your prayers, and let’s make the next year, my last one as president, one of the best that Loyola has ever had as we continue to head into our bright and extraordinary future.

Much love and many prayers to you all!

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Gregory M. Goethals, SJ ’73
President

A Letter From the Chairman of the Board

On behalf of the Board of Directors Loyola High School of Los Angeles, I share with you the news that Fr. Gregory M. Goethals, SJ will complete his final year as the President of Loyola High School at the conclusion of the 2024-25 academic year. Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits West Province of the Society of Jesus, in his care for his men, is always in dialogue with them about their duties and the lengths of their tenure in those duties.

Therefore, at Fr. Greg’s 20-year mark here at Loyola he has decided that now is a good time for a change for him. The Provincial has stated how he is proud of the work that Fr. Goethals has done at Loyola and will grant him a sabbatical during which time they both will discern where and what Fr. Greg’s new position will be in the Province after the sabbatical.

For many of us, it is hard to imagine Loyola without Fr. Goethals at the helm. He is currently the longest serving president in the entire Province. By June 2025, he will have been a member of the Loyola High School community for 55 years, arriving as a freshman in 1969. On behalf of the entire Loyola Board of Directors, I can only begin to express our deep gratitude to Fr. Goethals for his remarkable service to our school and our community. Loyola has had many legendary presidents over its long history, and he is certainly one of the greats!

Working with Fr. Goethals as a director and board chair, I have experienced firsthand his extraordinary leadership and his ability to bring our community together to accomplish so much during his time as president. He has fervently animated Loyola’s mission while simultaneously overseeing countless improvements to our campus, including many capital projects and adjacent land purchases to advance our Master Plan for an ever more comprehensive campus. As an example, the beautiful new Caruso Hall was conceived and built on his watch, all while growing our endowment to an all-time record level.

Looking forward, as a nationally recognized Jesuit high school, we believe Loyola is a very attractive and unique opportunity for presidential candidates, and we expect to select a new president from an impressive and highly qualified pool. To that end, the Board of Directors has retained a highly experienced and respected professional search firm, Educational Directions, to partner with us on this search. The firm, and, in fact, our specific consultants, has facilitated many successful searches for Catholic schools around the country, including, most recently, Jesuit schools in the West. We have formed a President’s Search Committee led by Board Directors Mollie Baumer and Will Smith, as committee co-chairs. Our Board is committed to a transparent and open process that seeks input from the entire Loyola community. We will share more information in the coming weeks as the formal search process begins.

For now, and throughout the next year, under Fr. Goethals’ leadership, there is much work that we must continue to do. Each day our outstanding faculty and staff will open Loyola’s doors and challenge its students with an exceptional academic curriculum, premier athletic programs, profound religious experiences, and challenging co-curricular activities, all in advancement of Loyola’s mission to develop young men who will put their beliefs and faith into practice throughout their lives as “Men for and With Others.”

Sincerely,
Robert Foster
Chair, Loyola High School Board of Directors

Search Committee

A Letter From the Board of Directors

With the recent announcement that Fr. Gregory M. Goethals, SJ ’73 will conclude his service at Loyola High School of Los Angeles at the end of the 2024-2025 school year, the Board of Directors has begun the search process to identify his successor. Succession planning and selection of a new president is the most important responsibility of the Board of Directors. We understand the importance of identifying a remarkable individual who aligns with our mission and passion for our students who will continue the outstanding work at Loyola.

After careful consideration, the Executive Committee of the Board engaged Educational Directions of Portsmouth, Rhode Island (www.edu-directions.com) as our partner to assist us in this very important search. Founded in 1987, Educational Directions is a highly respected national education search consulting firm with a very strong record of successful head of school placements. Educational Directions’ search team will be led by Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche. Mathew and Risa bring deep experience both as educational leaders in Catholic education and search professionals, as well as expertise and enthusiasm to our search. Importantly, Mathew and Risa have successfully partnered with a number of Jesuit schools throughout the country in searches for new leadership, including Fordham Preparatory School (NY), Loyola Academy (IL), Seattle Preparatory School (WA) and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School (IN).

The Board has established a search committee to oversee the search process. The committee will work closely with our search professionals, gather data and feedback from the Loyola community, interview candidates and offer recommendations to the Board of Directors who, along with the Provincial, will ultimately make the final decision for the appointment of Loyola’s next president. The Board has endeavored to create a search committee that includes broad and well-rounded representation from the larger Loyola community, including alumni, administration, faculty and parents. The members are:

–   Mollie Baumer
–   Judy Dell’Amico
–   Fr. Jack Dennis, SJ
–   Cara Esposito
–   Robert Foster
–   Ann Holmquist
–   Rene LaVigne ’79
–   Michael McCracken ’86
–   Christine Moore
–   Michael O’Brien ’83
–   Drew Planting ’77
–   Russell Silvers ’98
–   Will Smith
–   Timothy Law Snyder

One of the fundamental tenets of the search committee is that the search process will be open and inclusive. Risa and Mathew have already met with the search committee to begin the process. An important next step is for Risa and Mathew to visit Loyola, which is scheduled for May 16th and 17th. The purpose of their visit is to learn as much as possible about our community as well as identify opportunities for the new president and the leadership and individual qualities we seek in this individual. Mathew and Risa will spend time with members of various groups within the Loyola community to gain input about what we seek in our next leader. Among the key questions they will ask of all of us are:

–   What are the unique characteristics of Loyola (i.e., what differentiates it from
other schools);

–   What are the perceived challenges and opportunities for Loyola at this time; and

–   What experience/leadership styles/personality traits will best meet those needs
within Loyola’s culture.

From all the information gathered through this process, Risa and Mathew, in concert with the search committee, will develop a position profile which will be used as a marketing tool for this outstanding opportunity. Once completed, the position profile will be shared with the larger school community through a new “President Search” section on the Loyola website.

Our consultants will be reaching out locally and nationally to individual Catholic educational leaders, executive directors of educational and other organizations, a variety of Catholic educational leadership programs and regional school associations to notify them of our opening. Over the next few months, they will identify and evaluate top prospects. Our goal is to identify a group of top-level candidates from which we will select a subset whom the search committee will interview. From that group will come the finalists. There will be opportunities for school community members to meet each finalist. Because Loyola is a Jesuit institution within the Jesuits West Province, the Provincial must also approve the finalists. After the search committee has evaluated the candidates and reviewed the data (including rigorous reference checks) and completed its deliberations, it will present its recommendation to the Board for review and approval. Once this process is complete, the Board will announce Loyola’s new president.

We look forward to executing a thorough and professional search. We will launch a “President Search” section on the Loyola website where information pertaining to the search will be made available to the larger Loyola community. We will provide regular updates and keep all members of our school community informed as our search progresses.

Sincerely,

Mollie Baumer
Search Co-Chair

Will Smith
Search Co-Chair


June 14, 2024

Dear members of the Loyola High School community:

We are writing to update you on the progress of our search to identify Loyola’s next President.

Our search professionals from Educational Directions, Risa Oganesoff Heersche and Mathew Heersche, were on campus in May to experience and learn about the Loyola High School community, our culture, the key areas of focus for the next president, as well as the qualities sought in our next President. Risa and Mathew very much appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Loyola and noted the unflagging commitment to our mission, Jesuit values, and, most importantly, our students.

If you did not have the chance to meet with them or would like to share additional thoughts, please complete our online survey. The survey can be accessed at the following link: Loyola High School President Search Survey. The survey will remain open until Monday, June 24, 2024.

We will use the information gathered through this process and, in collaboration with Risa and Mathew, develop a position profile which will be used to market this unique opportunity. Once completed, the position profile will be posted on the President Search section on the Loyola website.

Candidate recruitment will be taking place over the next several months. Our search professionals will be reaching out both nationally and locally to individual Catholic educational leaders, executive directors of educational and other leadership organizations, a variety of Catholic educational leadership programs, and regional school associations to notify them of our opening.

We have received many inquiries whether Loyola’s next President will be a Jesuit. The Board will work with Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, the Jesuit West Provincial, to identify qualified Jesuit candidates to be considered for the role. It is important to the note, however, that the Provincial has instructed the Board to conduct a broad national search to find the most qualified candidate to advance Loyola’s mission and work. We appreciate the strong appeal of identifying another Jesuit President for Loyola, but we also recognize various practical factors that may result in a lay leader, including the overall reduced number of active Jesuits as well as timing of current missioning. We also note that 14 of the 19 schools in the Jesuit West Province are currently led by lay leaders.

Over the next few months, we will work with our consultants to identify and evaluate compelling prospects. Our goal is to identify a group of experienced, professional candidates and invite a select group for in-person interviews. After these interviews, the search committee will select a small group of finalists. Since Loyola is a Jesuit institution within the Jesuits West Province, the Provincial must also approve the finalists and consent to mission each of them as President of Loyola if they are the successful candidate. The finalists will be invited back to Loyola for additional interviews and discussions. After these visits, the search committee will complete its evaluation of all the data (including reference and background checks), deliberate, and present its recommendation to the Board for review and approval. The Board will then announce
Loyola’s new President.

Our calendar calls for identification and engagement of the next President for Loyola High School to be completed in the fall of 2024. There will be an organized transition process culminating in the new President commencing work in July 2025.

We remain committed to an open and transparent process and will continue to share information and provide updates throughout the search process. All information pertaining to the search will be posted on this page.

Thank you for your continued support of Loyola High School.

Sincerely,
Mollie Baumer – Search Co-Chair
Will Smith – Search Co-Chair

President Search FAQs

What is the role of the Board of Directors in the search?

Succession planning is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board; accordingly, the Board has been planning for this transition for some time. The Board has engaged a professional national search consulting firm and formed a search committee to identify our next President. The search committee is comprised of 14 Loyola stakeholders – board members (including alumni), faculty representatives and a Jesuit. The Board is committed to an open and transparent process and will seek input from the entire Loyola community and share information throughout the search process.

Will a Jesuit serve as the next President of Loyola High School?

The Board will work with Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, the Jesuit West Provincial, to identify qualified Jesuit candidates to be considered for the role. However, the Provincial has instructed the Board to conduct a broad national search to find the most qualified candidate to succeed Fr. Greg Goethals, SJ ‘73 and advance Loyola’s mission and work. We appreciate the strong appeal of identifying another Jesuit President for Loyola, but we also recognize various practical factors that may result in a lay leader, including the overall reduced number of active Jesuits as well as timing of current missioning. Importantly, we note that 14 of the 19 schools in the Jesuit West Province are currently led by lay leaders.

Will internal candidates be considered?

Per the instruction of the Provincial, the Board is committed to an open and fair process to identify the most qualified candidate to execute Loyola’s mission. Accordingly, we will consider all applicants — internal and external, Jesuit and lay. All interested candidates should contact our search consultants, Mathew Heersche or Risa Oganesoff Heersche, at Educational Directions. Risa and Mathew will maintain confidentiality throughout the process.

Why conduct a search at all?

The Board believes that it is essential for the integrity of the search process and their decision regarding the hiring of the next President to engage in a national search process that follows established best practices. It is the Board’s duty to hire a new President to execute Loyola’s mission and work, consistent with our long-term strategic objectives.

What is the role of the search committee?

Appointed by the Board of Directors, the search committee oversees all aspects of the search process. They work closely with our search professionals and representatives of the Jesuits West Province, gather data and feedback, review qualifications of candidates, conduct interviews and offer recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors ultimately makes the final decision for the appointment of the next President subject to the consent of the Provincial.

What is the role of our professional search consulting firm, Educational Directions?

Educational Directions is our search consulting firm. They will guide, advise and support the search committee during the entire process. Our search professionals, Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche, visited Loyola High School in May to learn more about our community and hear from our various stakeholders. Mathew and Risa will reach out to many candidates including those from their extensive network of highly qualified Catholic administrators from around the country. Candidates presenting the desired qualifications will be submitted to the search committee for their review and consideration. The search committee, in collaboration with Educational Directions, will invite a select group of candidates to meet in person.

How can members of the Loyola community offer their feedback?

Members of the Loyola community met with our search professionals when they conducted their school visit. The broader Loyola community is invited to submit feedback through the online survey posted on the Loyola website. Loyola High School President Search Survey.

What is the timing for the search? When will it begin and how long will this process take?

Loyola will engage in a thoughtful search and well-planned transition over the coming year. We currently anticipate the following timeline:

  • Engagement with various constituencies of the community May 2024
  • Position posted June 2024
  • Semifinalist interviews Early Fall 2024
  • Finalist visits Mid Fall 2024
  • Appointment Late Fall 2024
  • Start date July 2025

What if I know someone who may be interested?

Interested candidates should contact Risa Oganesoff Heersche at Risa.heersche@edudx.com or Mathew Heersche at Mathew.heersche@edudx.com at Educational Directions. Risa and Mathew will maintain confidentiality throughout the process.

What if I have additional questions?

Feel free to contact the search committee chairs with questions. Click here to submit your questions.

What is the best way to be involved and stay informed throughout this process?

The Board is committed to an open and transparent process and will seek input from the entire Loyola community and share information throughout the search process. You are invited to:

  • Participate in the survey
  • Read the search updates from the search committee posted on the Loyola website

 
 

Loyola High School President Search Survey

 

Further information on the President Search will be posted in the near future.

AMDG

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