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DeSales President to Retire after 11 Years

Doug Strothman

With over a decade of successful leadership at DeSales High School, Mr. Doug Strothman announced today that the 2017-2018 school year will be his last as the president of the thriving all-male Catholic high school near Louisville’s Iroquois Park.

During his prominent eleven-year tenure, Mr. Strothman has been instrumental in the revitalization of DeSales, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016.

Mr. Strothman brought a business-minded and entrepreneurial approach to DeSales upon his arrival in 2006. His focus on affecting change, building brand, and financial sustainability has empowered DeSales to move forward boldly and confidently. His clear vision for the future of DeSales – and his capacity to see it through – has taken the school to new heights, solidifying the school’s position as a dynamic and innovative leader in the educational community.

Between 2008 and 2014, Mr. Strothman led two separate multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns at DeSales that resulted in strategic changes in the school’s campus, as well as significant increases in the amount of financial aid available to school families. The funding enabled DeSales to renovate classrooms, update technology infrastructure, and modernize science labs, while also overhauling the school’s gymnasium and locker rooms. The most recent and comprehensive facilities project included a re-envisioning of the school’s campus and the building of a state-of-the-art multi-use athletic stadium, which opened in August, 2o16. The venue provides a permanent home for athletics and is the first home field for varsity football in school history.

The school’s student count has steadily increased during Mr. Strothman’s tenure, posting a 25% positive growth rate over the last 10 years. High expectations continue into next year, as another strong freshman class for the fall of 2017 is expected to push the total enrollment at DeSales to over 360 students, the highest level in 19 years. DeSales also recently completed a strategic effort to increase teacher pay to among the most competitive in the private school market.

Long known as a south end school celebrated for its strong tradition and community, Mr. Strothman has transformed DeSales into a distinct educational option that serves young men from throughout Jefferson and surrounding counties.

“When I came to DeSales, it was clear that the school was a vital part of the community and that our south end heritage was perhaps only surpassed by our affiliation with the Carmelite Order in terms of importance to our history and culture,” observed Strothman. “We have tried hard to maintain this tradition. At the same time, I believed it was critical that we develop the school into a unique choice that would appeal to students from throughout the region. I think we are achieving that goal.”

“What Doug has accomplished during his time at DeSales is truly remarkable,” said Mr. David Price, DeSales School Board Chair. “There is an enthusiasm and confidence about DeSales that goes beyond the obvious growth in facilities and enrollment. Doug always said he wanted to make DeSales into the place where every student becomes the very best version of himself –academically, spiritually, and athletically. He has unquestionably delivered.”

Mr. Strothman says he plans to spend his remaining time at DeSales no differently as he has the rest of his tenure: working alongside an extremely talented group of teachers and staff and spreading the DeSales message to potential students and supporters. He also is very focused on ensuring a smooth transition to the next DeSales president.

The DeSales Board of Directors, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Louisville, the DeSales Foundation, and the DeSales Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Parents, will immediately begin developing a presidential search committee and process. The DeSales community’s leadership intends to announce a new president by spring, 2018, with an anticipated start date of summer, 2018.

“DeSales has, in many ways, been my life over the last 11 years,” Strothman said. “I have loved every minute of it and feel I will always be part of the DeSales community. That being said, I feel I have given the school everything I have and accomplished all I set out to accomplish. While I will be sad to go, I am looking forward to new opportunities in my life. I am also convinced that now, with the school at the strongest it’s been in years, is the right time for the DeSales community to choose the president who will lead them into the next great chapter in the history of this school.”