President Brennan Announces Holy Family’s Next Principal
Earlier today, President Brennan announced the professional advancement of assistant principal John Dols as the next principal of Holy Family Catholic High School. Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will begin to work alongside current principal Kathie Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
President Brennan shared the following message with the community:
As you are aware, at the end of the current school year, Mrs. Kathie Brown will be retiring from Holy Family after 20 years of dedicated service to our school – a legacy for which we will remain forever grateful. What began as a search process aimed at finding a replacement for a single position would evolve, in the space of the last nine months, into a far more comprehensive, organization-wide process. This expanded approach called upon Holy Family to look inward and evaluate existing roles, functions, and their respective alignment in an effort to determine the optimal structure for effective school operations. The result positions Holy Family to build upon current levels of institutional momentum to support the attainment of our strategic goals aimed at driving growth through excellence.
With that said, as Holy Family Catholic High School’s president, and with the support of the Holy Family Board of Directors, I am excited to announce the appointment of Mr. John Dols as the next principal of our beloved school. Currently serving in the role of assistant principal, Mr. Dols is a licensed school administrator with 23 years of Catholic education experience. He grew up in Catholic education attending Minneapolis’ Ascension Catholic School for grades K-8 and DeLasalle High School for grades 9-12. Mr. Dols holds a Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies from St. Norbert College, a Master of Education from St. Mary’s University, and his principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. He is a graduate of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice. He began his career as a theology teacher, first at Xavier High School in Appleton, WI, and then at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights before joining Holy Family as a campus minister and assistant principal in 2006.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working and serving alongside John Dols for the last three years. With unwavering conviction, I can state that our school community is blessed and fortunate to have such extraordinary talent within our walls. Mr. Dols’ leadership will set forth a course for the future of Holy Family that seeks continuous innovation and reinvention, and remains authentic and true to the mission-centered aspects of our school’s culture – faith and family.
Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will work closely with Mrs. Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
As Mr. Dols shares in his message below, we are blessed to have such incredible and experienced educators within our current staff who lead with deep faith and passion for the mission of Holy Family. We look forward to enhancing each student’s educational experience with an unrelenting commitment to developing young adults with ever-deepening faith and Christian leadership skills — caring for them in mind, body, and soul— forming scholars and saints.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!
A Message from Principal-Elect John Dols
Principal-Elect John Dols shared his gratitude and excitement as well as two additional position announcements.
Fifteen years ago, I drove to the Southwest suburbs to interview for a job I was not sure I wanted in an area that was utterly unfamiliar to me. One of the things that I remember vividly from that interview was a statement made by Kathie Brown. She said, “Holy Family does not have an entrance exam; we have a placement test. All kids are welcome here. All kids belong.” It was this statement, among others, that convinced me to take the job. It is the way this reality plays out daily that has made me fall in love with the school, the students, and the faculty and staff, and families.
Our mission is to take care of students wherever they are academically, spiritually, and emotionally, and help them grow. This mission lives and breathes in our faculty, staff, and administration— in the way we teach, the way we interact with students and families, and the policies and procedures that drive us. I am proud to be a part of this mission.
As I look toward next year and the years to follow, the innovations such as May Term, Canvas, and our International Student Program excite me. We can innovate while staying true to who we are, a Catholic school that strives to serve all!
I am pleased to announce the professional advancement of two distinguished Holy Family colleagues and the following first steps in further aligning our structure with our school’s mission and core values of scholarship, leadership, integrity, and faith. Current Dean for Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, will be promoted to the role of Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs – a newly developed position with an acute focus aimed at advancing the academic dimension of our school’s mission through faculty and student support, professional development, curriculum oversight, and technology integration. Current Director of Individual Giving and Alumni Relations, Matt Thuli, will serve as the Assistant Principal for Student Life – a position that supports our students as they navigate the ever-increasing complexity of life beyond the classroom setting. ( Please see their bios below.)
I love Holy Family. I am honored and blessed to be able to serve as the second principal in the school’s history.
Current Dean of Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, takes on an expanded role in her new position as Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics Education from Willian Penn University and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Ed. S- Education Specialist from the University of St. Thomas. She holds a K-12 principal licensure from the State of Minnesota and is currently working toward the completion of a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Learning from the University of St. Thomas. She completed the Lasallian Social Justice Institute, a formation program based on the Gospel. Mrs. Livermore joined Holy Family in 2001 as a math instructor, and has spent the last eight years overseeing academic support, guidance, and teacher development.
Current Director of Alumni Relations Matt Thuli has accepted the position of Assistant Principal for Student Life and Alumni Relations. Matt has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Winona State University and principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. When Holy Family opened its doors in 2000, Mr. Thuli was our first physical education instructor, basketball coach, and activities director. For ten years, he performed the role of both activities director and dean of students, before accepting his current position on the advancement team four years ago. Mr. Thuli has successfully grown our alumni relations program and led three consecutive years of growth of the annual fund. However, his heart remains that of an educator and school administrator, and he looks forward to returning to serving students and families on a personal and daily basis.