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Father McGivney school OKs new organizational structure, names priest as president


From Illinois Business Journal news services

GLEN CARBON – The pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church and dean of the Alton deanery, The Rev. Jeff Goeckner, has added a new role to his ministry.

goeckner jeffThe board of Father McGivney Catholic High School has named Goecker (left)  president of the school as part of a new organizational structure OK’d by the Springfield Catholic Diocese.

Doug Villhard, chairman of the McGivney board, announced the change in a letter to McGivney families and supporters.

The new organizational model is known as the “President-Principal” model and helps position McGivney for its continued growth, he said.

“For the past three years, McGivney has been operating under the more traditional ‘Board-Principal’ model, but it had always been the vision of the original founders to establish the ‘President-Principal’ model when the time was right,” Villhard said. “In this model, the president is the chief executive officer of the school and responsible overall for the school’s operation and for providing spiritual leadership to achieve its mission. The principal oversees the day to day “internal” operations of the school, and a newly established position, vice president for Development & Finance, oversees the day to day ‘external’ operations of the school including enrollment management, finance, and business aspects. Both the principal and vice president for Development & Finance report to the president.”

Goeckner was the right choice, he said.

“When discussing potential options, it was clear that Father Jeff had the passion, spiritual leadership ability, and dedication that the president’s role requires,” stated Villhard. “We are very blessed that Father Jeff humbly accepted the role and has dedicated part of his priestly ministry to help take Father McGivney to the next level.”

The new role is part time and reports to the board of directors. Goeckner will continue in his current roles as pastor of St. Boniface Parish and dean of the Alton Deanery. The organizational model was originated by the Jesuits and is now propagated to more than 60 percent of Catholic high schools in the U.S., school officials said.

“I am honored to be appointed to this role at such a significant time in the history of Father McGivney Catholic High School,” said Goeckner. “I am excited to lead the school spiritually and be there to minister to the students, faculty, and staff on a more consistent basis.”

The appointment comes with the full approval of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield.

“Of course, I spoke with Bishop Paprocki about this role before officially accepting it, and he reaffirmed his and the diocese’s commitment to McGivney and this additional ministry of mine,” Goeckner said.

Mike Scholz will remain in his current capacity as principal, and David Michael, who had been the director of Development and Finance since the school’s inception, has been promoted to the new role of vice president for Development & Finance.

“It has been an honor serving at McGivney as the Development and Finance Director the past three years and I am looking forward to working closely with Father Jeff in this new role to continue to advance McGivney well into its future,” said Michael.

Scholz added: “I certainly support what is determined to be best for Father McGivney Catholic High School.”

“It is always great to be a Griffin,” said Goeckner, echoing the school’s motto. “But this year seems extra special with our new facility, first senior class, and growing athletics and clubs; God has definitely blessed us and our community.”

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