St. Mary’s High School selects next president
by John Stiner
COLORADO SPRINGS. The St. Mary’s High School board of directors selected Mr. Tom Maj (pronounced “may”) to step into the role of school president, replacing Deacon Rob Rysavy.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the St. Mary’s family. I look forward to applying my 34 years of education experience, to include my 13 years of experience as president of multiple Catholic high schools, to help guide our school in this next phase of its remarkable history,” said Maj.
When Deacon Rysavy announced in October 2022 that he would step down in June 2023, the board chartered an executive search committee led by board treasurer Ed Wilcox.
“St. Mary’s is a special place, and we wanted a special person to replace Deacon Rob. We looked at multiple executive search organizations, and ultimately hired Catholic Recruiter Associates to conduct a nationwide search for us,” said Wilcox.
Catholic Recruiter Associates (CRA) is the largest and oldest Catholic executive search organization in the U.S. Almost 150 candidates across the country were qualified and then individually contacted by CRA about the upcoming vacancy at St. Mary’s.
Of the 20 candidates who applied, CRA narrowed the list down to seven candidates for consideration by the search committee. Five applicants were interviewed, and two were invited back for an additional, more comprehensive interview conducted by the board, faculty and staff.
Principal Robyn Cross, a member of the search committee, expressed admiration for the process and the outcome. “All the candidates submitted to us for consideration were superb. All were faithful Catholics with tremendous experience in the world of Catholic education. Making a final recommendation to the board was difficult and delightful at the same time.”
When asked about the search process and the new president, Rysavy had high praise for both. “I could not be more pleased with Ed’s (Wilcox’s) leadership and the work of the search committee. Tom’s resume speaks for itself; but more importantly he is a faithful and caring man who has the skills, experience and wisdom we need for opportunities in front of our school.”
Deacon Rysavy will not be far from the St. Mary’s community, as he has been asked by Bishop James Golka to join the diocesan staff later this fall. The call of his vocation as a deacon, and a desire to commit more time to his family, led to his decision to step away from what he routinely refers to as “the best job in the city.”
“It was not an easy decision for Michelle and me, but after meeting Tom, I am at both at peace and thrilled for the future of St. Mary’s,” said Deacon Rysavy.
When asked to summarize in three points his experience as a Catholic school leader, Maj stated, “I am passionate about Catholic education, obsessed with caring for the individual, and decisive.”
All of those attributes will be vital as St. Mary’s moves forward with its plans for a new school and as it seeks to provide more students with an authentically Catholic and an academically rigorous education.
(John Stinar chairs the St. Mary’s High School board of directors)