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Administration Model and VP for Academic Life

March 1, 2016

De La Salle High School adopted the President/Principal model of school administration in 1994 to strategically allocate the extensive leadership responsibilities of running the school.

Twenty-two years later, De La Salle High School is a larger and busier place than ever. When Brother Robert announced last fall that he would complete his tenure as Principal this June, we agreed that it was time to look again at the administrative model in use at De La Salle. Brother Robert and I determined that the position of Principal was overextended and that it was time for a redistribution of responsibilities. Others were consulted about what new or modified leadership configuration might be best suited to more effectively distribute the responsibilities of the Principal.

As a result, beginning July 1, the administrative model for De La Salle High School will eliminate the position of Principal and use a model with a President/CEO as lead administrator working in collaboration with six Vice Presidents who will serve as division heads in the areas of Academic Life, Campus Life, Athletic Administration, Mission, Finance, and Advancement. Our current model had the Principal responsible for the first three areas listed and working closely with the President in the area of Mission. The President had chief responsibility for Finance and Advancement. The Principal worked closely with Vice Principals, Deans, and other program directors, and the President did the same with administrators and program directors in the areas of Finance, Advancement, Alumni Affairs, and also reported directly to the Board of Trustees.

This new model, with a Vice President of Academic Life whose duties will focus on academic matters, will serve the school well and also provide a reasonable set of responsibilities for this person. The President will gather the Vice Presidents together as a planning team and provide for the coordination of services across the life of the school.

After conducting a nationwide search, I am happy to announce the appointment of the school’s first Vice President for Academic Life – Dr. Heather Alumbaugh.

Dr. Alumbaugh brings a wonderful and unique set of gifts and perspective that will greatly assist us in advancing the Mission of De La Salle High School. She is a great fit for our school community. I look forward to working with her as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Dr. Alumbaugh is currently an Associate Professor of English at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, where she is the Director of the Honors Program and the Co-Director of the Women’s Studies Program. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. with distinction in English and American Literature from NYU and B.A. in English with a concentration in Spanish Literature cum laude from UCLA. She is also a graduate of Carondelet High School. Since 2010, she has served on the Board of Directors at LifeWay Network, which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide safe housing for women who have been trafficked and to offer education about trafficking to the general public. She is a member of The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States and the National Association of Ethnic Studies. She has published on Latino/a literature and American Modernism. Dr. Alumbaugh also has superior proficiency in written and spoken Spanish.

Dr. Alumbaugh was honored to accept this appointment: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to return to one of the institutions that inspired my passion for education. My life has been filled with amazing men, from teachers, students, and peers to my father, brothers, husband, and son. I am beyond thrilled to join a community of students, educators, parents, staff, and administrators that is so wonderfully committed to the holistic education of young men.”

As the Vice President for Academic Life, Dr. Alumbaugh will provide strategic and operational leadership, vision, and direction for the design and implementation of the school’s academic programs. She will serve as the school’s chief academic officer and instructional leader and will collaborate at the administrative level with Vice Presidents in other areas of school life under the leadership of the President/Chief Executive Officer. I personally want to thank the members of the interview panel for their time, effort, and diligence in reviewing the qualified applicants for the position. They played an important role in the process, and I am grateful for their assistance.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
De La Salle High School