Search begins for new administrator to begin in July

Krystal Luong, staff writer

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Waiting for graduation to start, former Dean of Academics Kelly Dandurand sits at Hartman Arena in preparation for the May 2018 graduation. Dandurand left KMC Aug. 3 and KMC is beginning to find a replacement for the upcoming school year. photo by John Biehler

As many begin settling down for the holiday break, the administration is hustling to begin the process of finding a replacement for former Dean of Academics Kelly Dandurand.
Dandurand announced her departure Aug. 3, two weeks before the school year started. Principal Chris Bloomer decided to wait until the spring of 2019 to begin the selection process for a new administrator.

“It was decided that due to the timing of Ms. Dandurand’s departure that the best person for the job would already be under contract for the upcoming school year,” Bloomer said. “Therefore, we thought that by waiting [we] could potentially get the best person for Kapaun Mt. Carmel and not affect another building by trying to steal someone away at the beginning of the school year.”

The new administrator would assume Dandurand’s previous role, overseeing faculty issues such as license renewals, staff training and staff celebrations. He or she would also be in charge of student standardized testing and detentions.

“Ms. Dandurand’s title was the Dean of Academics,” Bloomer said. “Her role had more to do with the faculty [and] its development, and testing [for the ACT, ASPIRE, and state assessment].”
Dandurand left behind a lot of responsibility and personality for her successor to fill, Bloomer said. “I think that she [had] a larger-than-life personality,” Bloomer said. “She gave a lot of energy and passion to Kapaun Mt. Carmel, and had her hand in a lot of different activities [such as] pep rallies, Walk in Sister’s Shoe campaign, faculty Christmas party and detention. While many of the students knew her, so much of what she did was behind the scenes.”

Senior Andy Ha said he knew Dandurand as someone fully dedicated to KMC, and he is expecting the same energy and spirit in the new administrator.

“I want someone who’s able to talk to students and be able to gain their trust; someone who’s able to be liked by the students easily, and yet responsible with their job,” Ha said. “Students tend to want someone who they can easily walk and talk to in difficult times in their lives. Ms. Dandurand helped me through a lot of hard times in the years she was here, and I hope someone else can have that same relationship with the new administrator.”

The new administrator should be someone who can help create better relationships in the school, senior Katherine Sherman said.

“I believe the new administrator should be able to create relationships with both the students and teachers,” Sherman said. “Lots of students feel isolated away from their classes, and having a new administrator would be helpful if [he or she was] able to ease that isolation—even if it was just a little bit. Having another person who the students can go to for help and guidance would be nice. But, I feel that they should be a role model for the teachers, too. If teachers can see how well an administrator is able to get along with a student, then they’ll be able to recreate that in their own classes.”

Bloomer agrees, saying it is important for faculty members to create trust with the students, in order to give them the proper environment to learn and grow in a safe place.

“I expect all of our administrators to interact and build relationships with the students—that is very important to [the] development of our community,” Bloomer said. “I think that Ms. Dandurand had an advantage over someone new because she taught here and still worked to have contact with the students as she moved up into administration. I expect our new administrators to work to get to know our building, our community, and work to make it the best that they can. There are very high expectations for Kapaun Mt. Carmel, and I’m looking for an individual who will be a great fit for the building and help us maintain a standard of excellence.”

The job of Dean of Academics has been posted on the Diocesan website and will be on the Kansas State Department of Education website. Starting in the spring of 2019, Bloomer, members of the KMC and diocesan administration and the clergy will work to find a new administrator for the 2019-2020 school year. The new dean would begin the role July 1, 2019.