Mr. Dave Slomski stepped out of the school board chairman position and into the president’s office late last month after former president Mr. Haggerty’s resignation. Slomski, now serving as interim president of Cathedral Prep, Villa Maria Academy, and Mother Theresa Academy, has been a part of the community since graduating from Prep in 1972 and later on being the chairman of the school board for seven years.
“The office that I’m sitting in was the office of Monsignor McDonald, who was the headmaster [when I went to Prep],” said Mr. Slomski. “I really never thought that I would be sitting in Monsignor McDonald’s office.”
Mr. Slomski is no stranger to holding important administrative positions. After graduating from Gannon University in 1976 with a degree in accounting, he started working locally at Security People’s Trust Company and later on became the Senior Vice President of Business Banking at Marquette Savings Bank for 10 years.
“After having been away from it for three years, it’s taken a while to get back to it, but the organization is really blessed,” said Mr. Slomski. “We have a great administrative staff. We have a great faculty and a great support staff, so they’ve really welcomed me and made this transition easy from my perspective.”
When originally asked by the school board to go assume this interim position, Mr. Slomski expressed not only a great amount of surprise, but also a great sense of honor.
“I was greatly honored that the board thought that I was capable of [being the interim president] because all of us on the board really have a passion for the school and care deeply about the school,” Mr. Slomski said. “We’re fortunate to have some very gifted board members with varying degrees and professional expertise. We have HR people. We have attorneys. We have accountants. We have bankers. And the fact that that group would think that I could contribute in that role, I was honored, actually.”
Mr. Slomski shared that the extent of his interim position is unknown at this point, although he anticipates that it will be a minimum of several months as a designated search committee searches for a possible candidate to fill the presidential position.
“There really isn’t any specified date, but obviously for the long-term, strategic benefit of the school, the sooner the better,” said Mr. Slomski.
Mr. Slomski, although a temporary president of Cathedral Prep, Villa Maria Academy, and Mother Theresa Academy, expressed great excitement about being in the community during a time of great change with the Prep-Villa consolidation quickly approaching.
“Being able to contribute whatever I can contribute, but specifically to be here at the school during the physical plan expansion, during the reinvigoration of our curriculum with the STEAM areas, and to be here and to be part of the campus consolidation is what most excites me,” said Mr. Slomski.
Along with this, Mr. Slomski also expressed that he looks forward to interacting with the student body once again and being in the halls of our schools.
“Obviously I’ve got a lot to get my hands around, but I take every opportunity to walk through the halls. Being around the students just energizes me,” said Mr. Slomski. “Besides being involved on the board, I’ve continued to take an interest in activities here. I’m going to basketball games, football games, baseball games, and just following the school. One of the things I’m looking forward to, for instance, [last] weekend is the play. Just to be a part of the activities of students is fulfilling and energizing.”
Anthony Nunez, a senior at Prep who played Dr. Frederick Chasuble in last weekends play, stated that he was surprised the new interim president made it to the performance, mentioning that he hasn’t seen a noticeable amount of higher administration at their events before.
“I was surprised in all honesty but glad he went. I wasn’t expecting him to be there,” Anthony said. “I assumed he would be too busy to go, but I was happy he found the time to watch the show we spent a long time on.”
In Mr. Slomski’s place, school board member Sara Kallner, a 1993 graduate of Villa Maria Academy has assumed the position of chairwoman. The Vice President of Sales at Smith Provision company, according to Mr. Slomski, is doing a great job in the new position. Once the search committee finds a permanent president candidate, Mr. Slomski will return to retirement but remain on the school board. Mrs. Kallner will remain as chairwoman of the school board.