Meeting a graduate of Creighton Preparatory School anywhere in the world is to discover in that man the magnitude of the president’s work that requires accepting the responsibility for preparing boys for college and forming men for others in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition. For generations of graduates, Prep is the seminal experience in their lives, and their teachers, mentors and leaders are revered for their teaching and guidance. Alumni and their families are fiercely loyal and genuinely appreciative of their transformational experiences. The president’s leadership, in sum, is an all-encompassing responsibility within a vibrant community and a genuine commitment to excellence and service as practiced by the Society of Jesus. Moreover, the accomplishments to date and the aspirations for the future demand consummate professional expertise as chief executive and legislative officer, bringing skill and passion to business and management while advancing the philanthropic climate of altruism in the community of the school.
Founded in 1878, Creighton Prep is an academic community of nearly a thousand students and 74 full-time faculty. The largest and most prominent Catholic high school in Nebraska, Creighton Prep is one of 60 Jesuit high schools across the United States and Canada. These schools serve approximately 50,000 students taught by more than six thousand faculty and staff, of whom four percent are Jesuit.
The president assures the preparation of young men not only for college but also for leading full lives as competent, conscientious and compassionate men. The search committee of the Creighton Prep Board of Trustees seeks candidates, both Jesuit and lay, who can lead the school into its bright future and further develop the apostolate of Jesuit education. Prep’s many assets include not only its exceptional 44-acre campus, but also its talented faculty, its creative, intelligent and spiritual students, its professional administration, its deeply committed board—comprised of both Jesuit and lay members—its numerous alumni and its extended community of friends.
The new president will bring consummate professional skills and commitment to build upon the school’s legacy of excellence, furthering the mission of forming men of faith, scholarship, leadership and service in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.
Creighton Preparatory School forms men of faith, scholarship, leadership and service in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.
Our faith, scholarship, leadership, and service endeavors are grounded in the following values and Jesuit principles:
Education of the whole person - We believe that education is holistic and a sacred process. Therefore, we encourage our students to become open to growth, intellectually competent, loving, religious and committed to justice. We educate our students to be prepared for higher education and for life.
Magis - We believe that effective people constantly examine their daily decisions and lives. We commit ourselves to apostolic decision-making by asking the questions, “What more can I do?” and “How can I do what I do more effectively to bring forth the greater glory of God?”
Men and women for and with others - We recognize our responsibility to work collaboratively in the formation of the reign of God. We actively encourage all members of our constituencies to be generous in sharing their time, talents and resources with others in need, to be fair and just in their relationships, and to live the faith that does justice in the world.
Cura personalis - We recognize that education must take place in the context of caring relationships. Supported and guided by our faculty and staff, our students must discover their unique gifts and talents, and their inherent worth. To enable this discovery, faculty and staff must be supported to develop their individual strengths.
Leadership - We prepare our students to be leaders in the service of others. We recognize that leaders will make a difference by their actions, choices, examples and influence, regardless of whether they are in positions of responsibility. We expect our leadership to promote justice.
Diversity - We believe that from the oneness of God comes the diversity of creation. We embrace diversity—social, economic, racial, ethnic, religious and gender—as part of God's plan for us.
In 1878, Creighton School was founded in Omaha, Nebraska and later separated into Creighton Prep and Creighton University. The school was named for Omaha businessman Edward Creighton, who, at his death, left his fortune to his wife, Mrs. Mary Lucretia (Wareham) Creighton, and she specified in her will that the money should go to the Roman Catholic bishop of Omaha to build a free school for boys. The purpose was to create a school for boys in which education was quality, Catholic-based, open to all young men of promise and, most of all, affordable. From its beginning until 1958, Creighton Prep operated as a department of Creighton University. As both the university and the high school at Creighton became more complex in their operation, it was determined that both would be better served by separating and becoming distinct institutions. In January of 1953, the current campus was purchased and the new classroom building was completed in the spring of 1958.
Today, Creighton Prep provides holistic formation and a college preparatory education for any young man of promise, building “Men for Others” who serve and seek justice in local, national and international communities. Prep graduates are men of faith whose lives give witness to Gospel values as part of an extended community and supportive network of leaders, acting with integrity and compassion for others. All of the school’s programs are intended to challenge students through a vital stage of their personal development. The blueprint, called the Graduate at Graduation Profile, states that each young man who enters Prep will graduate as a man who is open to growth, intellectually competent, loving, religious and committed to doing justice. Graduates of Creighton Prep are truly prepared for higher education and for life.
Creighton Prep’s commitment to educational excellence is shaped by the spiritual and pedagogical traditions of the Society of Jesus that was founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1548. Creighton Prep strives to educate the whole person: intellectual, religious, social, emotional and physical. Faculty and administration work to ensure that each student has an opportunity to meet his individual learning needs through a course of study that provides a balanced and traditional curriculum of preparation for college studies.
Current Enrollment: 989
Faculty: 74 full-time
Faculty with advanced degrees: 81%
Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
Students of color: 21%
Prep students score high each year on the national ACT and SAT college aptitude tests. This year, Prep's individual average of 26.1 on the ACT topped both the national average of 20.8 and the state average of 20.1. One in four students is recognized as an AP Scholar. Creighton Prep also offers dual enrollment opportunities to earn college credit through three area universities: Creighton University, the University of Nebraska Omaha and Nebraska Wesleyan University. While even the best students will be challenged, Creighton Prep graduates find themselves prepared to enter, compete and succeed in a college that best fits their needs. Approximately 98 percent of each graduating class will go on to college immediately, many to some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation, including Boston College, Harvard, Georgetown and Notre Dame. Nearly 76 percent of the Class of 2018 were offered college scholarships worth an astonishing $25.9 million.
Creighton Preparatory School is accredited by AdvancED, the National Catholic Education Association and the Jesuit Schools Network.
Every Jesuit school (there are 430 Jesuit high schools in 55 countries) embraces the philosophy of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The first Jesuit-run school was established in Messina, Italy in 1548, which makes Jesuit education the oldest secondary education program in the world. Nearly 500 years later, Jesuit schools around the globe have these characteristics in common:
- Educational excellence
- Study of the humanities and sciences
- Care for the individual
- Educating the whole person
- Religious experiences
- Opportunities for reflection
Masses, prayer services, retreats and service work are integrated into the curriculum so that every student has an opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge. Today, there are five Jesuits who live in the community on campus, and all are active within the school. The Freshman Retreat each year is a life-changing experience for many students, bringing them closer to God and to their classmates. In subsequent years, students can choose from a variety of retreats of different lengths and formats as they complete the three retreats required for graduation. Upperclassmen can apply for coveted spots to serve as leaders of retreats for younger students. Through Campus Ministry, students have the opportunity to participate in liturgies, prayer services and service events.
Campus, Setting and Location
Situated on 44 rolling acres in a suburban neighborhood in the Omaha metropolitan area, the school is centrally located in a residential area with businesses and commercial development nearby. Attractive facilities include the 25,000-square-foot Dr. James B. and Joan C. Peter Science Center that was added in 1999, featuring five nearly-identical class/laboratory rooms that were added along with four renovated rooms during this phase. The Cassem Memorial Library was remodeled in 2003 into a state-of-the-art library. It was also featured on the May 2007 cover of School Planning & Management magazine and won the Council of Educational Facility Planners' Impact on Learning Award.
The $20 million Heider Student Health and Fitness Center opened in 2009, reaffirming Prep’s presence at a site where the high school has stood for 50 years. The project includes both athletic and academic components, including a new gym, baseball plaza and artificial turf playing field, as well as renovated classrooms, a new auditorium and a technology center. Currently under construction and slated for completion in the spring of 2020 is the Lannon Learning Commons, which will house the staff of the student support services program that helps students with their emotional and academic needs.
With an enrollment of 989 students, Creighton Prep attracts students from every ZIP code in the Omaha metro area as well as students from Iowa and rural Nebraska. The socioeconomic status of the student body ranges broadly, with financial assistance totaling $2 million. Admission is competitive and, this year, 345 boys applied for 275 available spaces. Over 90 percent of students who were offered admission enrolled.
Creighton Prep’s 2018-2019 tuition ranges from $10,580 to $10,880 and is comparable to other area private high schools. The tuition is the third lowest in the network of 60 Jesuit secondary schools. Last year, 52 percent of students received over $2 million in financial assistance, which ranks Prep in the top 20 percent of Jesuit high schools in the amount of assistance given annually. Financial aid is available in three forms: work grants, financial assistance grants and scholarships.
The Creighton Prep faculty consists of 74 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) professional faculty members. Twenty percent of the faculty are Creighton Prep graduates, 81 percent hold advanced degrees and nine have doctoral degrees.
Performing and fine arts, including three levels of architecture, are hallmarks of Creighton Prep. The study of the arts at Prep involves critical and creative thinking and problem-solving techniques that help students understand the social and cultural forces that shape their world. The Fine Arts department faculty believe art gives meaning to the human experience in much the same way religion does. The school’s concert band is regarded by many as the strongest program of all among the school’s many strong programs. Other arts offerings include concert and chamber choirs and two levels of AP Music Theory.
Creighton Prep has an athletic tradition that is unequaled in the state of Nebraska. With a steadfast commitment to Ignatian values, student athletes are engaged fully in mind, body and heart. Prep offers 10 sports sanctioned by the Nebraska School Activities Association (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and wrestling), four club sports (ice hockey, lacrosse, powerlifting and trapshooting), and a comprehensive intramural program. Many sports offer freshman teams while others have a no-cut policy. In total, Prep offers over 80 clubs and teams.
Governance & Advancement
Creighton Prep is governed by a 24-member board of trustees that is highly effective, well led and demonstrates a deep commitment to the school. According to the bylaws, more than one-fifth but no more than one-half of the members of the board shall be members of the Society of Jesus.
Omaha is a vibrant, entrepreneurial business community based in agriculture, financial services, transporation and shipping, energy, health care and industry. Four Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in Omaha (Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Kiewit Corporation, Mutual of Omaha and Union Pacific Corporation) as do four Fortune 1000 companies. In 2005, USA Today ranked Omaha “eighth among the nation’s 50 largest cities in both per capita billionaires and Fortune 500 companies. No coastal city can claim a ranking as high as Omaha on both lists.” In 2008, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine named Omaha the nation’s third best city to live, work and play. In 2009, Forbes identified Omaha as the number one “Best Bang-For-The Buck City” in the country and number one on “America's Fastest-Recovering Cities” list. Kurt Andersen’s 2007 New York Times article “Omaha's Culture Club” describes a revitalizing, bohemian yet genuine and welcoming city.
Located on the western bank of the Missouri River across from Council Bluffs, Iowa, Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska and near the geographic center of the United States. The 2012 census found a population of 421,570 people with nearly 1.3 million residents within a 50-mile (80-km) radius of the city’s center, forming the Greater Omaha area.
The Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.visitomaha.com) and the Greater Omaha Chamber (www.omahachamber.org) both provide a wealth of information about the city.
The Opportunity For Leadership
The president of Creighton Prep bears the responsibility for a Jesuit tradition that prepares young men to lead meaningful lives as men of service, learning and leading, specifically assuring their preparation for any suitable college or university. As leader of a talented administrative team, the president assures the quality and performance of the professional staff meeting both internal and external goals. Partnering with the board and the Jesuits, the president assures that Catholic and Jesuit values and traditions are formative within the community for children and adults.
As spiritual leader, the president models the Jesuit charism and communicates effectively with all the school’s constituencies. Whether Jesuit, other-religious, or lay, the rare qualities that enable successful sustained leadership at Creighton Prep are described below. We welcome interest during a confidential period of discernment and active candidacy during a process of relationship-building.
Strengths and Unique Qualities of Creighton Prep
- Clear mission, focus, identity and success as a preeminent Jesuit, Catholic college preparatory school.
- Deep commitment to Omaha and commensurate respect within the local community.
- Proud and appreciative alumni of all ages and generations with active interest and genuine respect for their own formation.
- Effective governance, leadership and management as manifested in the quality of the school today and its promise for tomorrow.
- A talented, professional community of teachers and staff dedicated to their students and their school.
- Viable Jesuit presence in the on-campus community and within the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus.
- Expectant parents who seek the promise and reward for their sons from an incomparable, Jesuit education building “Men for Others.”
- Comprehensive programs providing opportunities for all students to perform at a level of excellence.
- Earned respect locally, regionally, nationally and internationally as a great school whose proof is in its graduates and its current students and faculty.
Challenges for the Next President
- Leading a powerful, accomplished institution that functions at a high level and that is very visible within its internal and external communities.
- Keeping the Jesuit, Catholic identity viable and prominent.
- Working with the board to identify, plan and develop authentic elements of growth for an already robust institution.
- Funding a school that is serious about providing opportunity for all mission-appropriate students regardless of their ability to pay, their walks of life or their range of learning styles.
- Supporting, developing and establishing effective key leadership that works interdependently and communicates effectively.
- Respecting the Jesuit communities and employing their work within the school.
- Participating actively in the professional worlds of Jesuit and independent education.
- Personally growing in formation as a leader in a preeminent Jesuit school.
Six Essential Characteristics Identified via Survey for the Next President
- Understand, embrace and promote Creighton Prep’s Jesuit identity.
- Personal and professional growth in Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy.
- Enthusiasm, energy and skill for promoting the school’s mission and vision.
- Eagerness to engage a proud community in fundraising, development and philanthropic activities.
- Comfort, confidence and joy in interpersonal relationships with all constituencies.
- Visible presence and long-term positive impact as a leader, servant, mentor and friend in an appreciative and loving community.
Five Characteristics for Success
Aligned with the board’s vision for Creighton Prep and its strategic goals, the president should possess initiative coupled with a sense of competitive drive and the ability to stay focused on results despite changing conditions. The leadership team, including the president, profile themselves through The Predictive Index® system, a tested process developed in 1955 that not only identifies motivations but also provides information for personal performance, strategic organizational growth, change management and team performance. Accordingly, successful candidates will be asked to complete this assessment tool during the advanced stage of their candidacies. The five areas below identify behavior traits that will assure better satisfaction, effectiveness and optimal job performance at Prep:
- Pace and variety of activities – a sense of urgency for goal achievement in varied activities and multiple, simultaneous projects demanding multitasking in a fast-paced environment.
- Focus – focus on results, able to generate ideas, innovate, creatively solve problems, establish rapport, build relationships focused on results and engage the commitment of others.
- Decision-making – oriented to solve problems, take risks, be action-oriented and somewhat collaborative in making quick decisions amid changing conditions.
- Communication and collaboration – extroverted, confident, enthusiastic and persuasive, stimulating others to action and a collaborative focus on results.
- Delegation and leadership style – authoritative leadership based on generalist expertise and knowledge of systems. Directive leadership to assure business results are achieved and delegation of details as necessary with follow-up on timeliness and quality.
Candidates, please submit electronically the following materials as separate Word documents:
- A cover letter expressing interest, detailing areas of fit, identifying areas of concern and enumerating strengths that you believe you would bring to the position.
- A current résumé with dates for all degrees and professional experience.
- A statement of leadership philosophy and practice in a Jesuit, Catholic high school.
- Five references with names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses (referents will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission).
Your candidacy is strictly confidential with Jeff Royal and the search committee until the public phase of the search.
Mr. Jeff Royal
Chair, Search Committee