President/Principal Model. Why?
St. Michael’s employs a President/Principal model at the school. This frequently elicits the question, “Who does what? Why do you have two people in charge?” Well, the President/Principal model has emerged as a leadership structure of choice for many Catholic schools—for good reason. In this powerful model, executive functions are elegantly aligned around two distinct leadership profiles: the outward-facing entrepreneur and the institution-builder (President), and the inward-facing academician and champion of teaching, learning, discipline, and safety (Principal).
When done right, this collaborative model allows the President, Mr. Gantt, to focus on the business side of the school: fundraising, alumni relations, the budget, non-school properties (of which St. Michael’s has several), insurance and HR, and capital projects and facilities, to name a few. Taking these large initiatives off the plate of the Principal allows Mr. Govea to focus on the two groups that make a school a school: teachers and students. Having this model in the last eight years has shown real results. Our test scores have gone up, our school safety has been strengthened, and our student’s college successes have been increased as a result of Mr. Govea’s ability to concentrate on teachers and students. Simultaneously, we’ve raised more money, remodeled and built more projects and buildings, and better managed our finances and maximized our resources as a result of Mr. Gantt’s ability to focus.
”Who is actually in charge?” On an organizational chart—God is in charge. St. Michael’s has a Board of Trustees who oversees one employee—the President. The Principal, Mr. Govea, reports to the President.