JACKSON — The Diocese of Lansing has named Christopher A. Smith as the next principal at Lumen Christi High School, commencing with the 2012-13 year.
Smith is currently the principal at Gateway North Elementary School in St. Johns, where he has served since 2009. Prior to his work there, Smith was principal at St. Therese School in Lansing, St. Mary School in Lake Leelanau and school administrator at Manistee Catholic Central.
“I am extremely humbled at the opportunity to serve the Church and the Jackson community at Lumen Christi considering the reputation that it has established for itself and the tradition of excellence in which the students are formed,” said Smith. “I am excited about the chance to work with high school students again and assisting them in their walk with the Lord as they head out into a world that appears increasingly hostile towards people of faith. I look forward to diving in and getting to work with the many dedicated families and staff members of Lumen Christi to build on their foundation of success.”
Smith has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and has completed graduate work at Franciscan University. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of five children.
The hiring comes as part of a progressive administrative restructuring, which was announced last year by the Lumen Christi board of education. Under the new arrangement, the principal’s major responsibilities will be internal operations including academic and student affairs, Catholic identity, faculty development, and student services. The president of development will be responsible for external and financial operations including fundraising, strategic planning, marketing, business affairs, budgeting, alumni and community relations. Patrick Kalahar, who has served as principal of Lumen Christi since 2006, will be president of development at the school.
The move recognizes the increasingly complex demands being placed on Catholic high school principals.
“The Lumen Christi board of education has made the decision to add resources to complement the progressive moves made by Principal Pat Kalahar over the past seven years,” said Board Chairman Kevin Bowman. “We have a vision and are proactive and committed to do what is necessary to provide the greater Jackson community with a Catholic high school that is the finest in affordable Catholic education and to ensure it is available for generations to come. The division of these responsibilities will allow Lumen Christi to continue its strength in faith and academics, as well as secure the school’s long-term financial stability.”
Kalahar is a 1987 graduate of Lumen Christi. He returned to his alma mater in 2000 as a teacher until 2006 when he was named principal.
“I look forward to working with Chris to further advance our ministry. I am thrilled by this forward-thinking move made by our Board and I am excited to be dedicating more time to the long-term development of Lumen Christi,” said Kalahar. “I have always enjoyed the developmental and financial aspects of our school.”