On behalf of the pastors of our six supporting parishes, I am excited to announce some big news: Kelly K. Mechelke has been named the new President of Regis Catholic Schools.
Mechelke brings some impressive professional credentials, having completed two Bachelor’s degrees (Education & Special Education) and two Master’s degrees (Administration & Curriculum). She is also nearing the completion of a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Most importantly, Mechelke brings a vibrant Catholic Faith she is eager to share with others.
Mechelke is familiar to many of us in the Regis family, having faithfully and competently served in multiple roles. Following eleven outstanding years in the classroom at Immaculate Conception Elementary School, she served six years as the principal of St. James Elementary School (five of those also serving as principal of St. Mary’s Elementary School). I worked closely with her during those years and grew a deep respect of her leadership skills and her ability to handle difficult conflicts well. Since 2014, Mechelke has been our Curriculum Coordinator – an area of great passion for her, and one in which she has flourished. Most recently, she heeded my request to step into the Regis Catholic Schools Central Office as Office Supervisor. Ask any of the employees there and they will attest to the significant improvement of morale under her capable leadership. In other words, she has spent time working in each one of our school buildings, as well as in our Regis Catholic Schools Central Office. She knows most of our employees quite well and has their respect and confidence. She excels at nurturing and affirming people’s gifts while also calling them to high standards of accountability and ongoing personal improvement.
Mechelke is also the proud parent of two boys; one a 2019 Regis High School graduate and the other a member of the Regis High School class of 2021.
“I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to continue here at Regis Catholic Schools as the new President,” Mechelke said. “I feel blessed and honored to have spent almost all of my career working in the Regis system where I can profess and share my faith openly."
This hire concludes a three-month process that goes back to mid-December. I want to thank Becky Alexander for serving as Chairwoman of the hiring committee and Jen Eager for many extra hours on the Human Resources front. We posted the job before Christmas and I selected fifteen total stakeholders: a mix of priests, Regis Catholic Schools Education Commission members, staff, and parents. We met a few times during January and February, identifying five Core Competencies that we would be interviewing for: Mission-Driven Decision Making, Strategic Thinking, Leadership, Responsible Management, and Flexibility. Strong Catholic Identity was taken as a given. We discussed and refined questions that would delve into those areas of competency. We selected a few candidates who stood out to us as deserving an interview. We divided ourselves into three interview groups, each asking different questions of the candidates.
It was amazing to hear the insights of the groups following the interviews and how much we all agreed about the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. The result was a unanimous recommendation from the entire group that we should hire Mechelke. I sent her to Bishop Callahan for an interview and he was happy to give his approval to our selection. I cannot say enough how grateful I am to each of the committee members for all the hours they gave and for the candid and utterly helpful conversations. We have a great Regis family!
Once again, I thank Mark Gobler for seven dedicated years of service as our Regis Catholic Schools President. His last official day is June 30. I have spoken with him and Kelly and they are eager to work together over the next three months. It is a luxury for an incoming president to have ample time to interact with and consult the outgoing president. Effective April 1, Mechelke will begin working directly with Gobler, myself, and our Regis Catholic Schools Management Committee to aide in her transition to this new role. This will give her the information and consultation needed to complete the reorganization process and to proceed with further hiring, such as for our Advancement Director position. We are excited to give her the tools she needs to build her team and lead Regis into a successful future!
In Christ the King,Fr. Derek Sakowski