Xavier High School
June 17, 2009
---FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---
Please contact for additional information
and/or photographs: Joseph F. Gorski, 212-337-7539
Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations
XAVIER NAMES NEW PRESIDENT
New York City Jesuit Secondary School,
Founded 162 Years Ago, Selects 33rd Leader
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Xavier High School, Richard T. Nolan, Jr., Esq., Class of 1983, announced that John R. Raslowsky II will assume the presidency of the school on July 1st, when Rev. Daniel J. Gatti, S.J. ’59 steps down after a twelve year tenure. Mr. Raslowsky’s selection was made, after a nearly two year search and upon the recommendation of the search committee, by Xavier’s Board of Trustees and was approved by its Board of Members and by the provincial of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus.
Mr. Raslowsky, an experienced educator and administrator, brings to Xavier exceptionally strong educational leadership skills and an over twenty-five year record of intensive involvement in Jesuit education. His association with the Society of Jesus has been extensive, beginning as a student at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City (1975-1979), then at St. Peter’s Prep as a teacher, moderator, coach, and principal (1985-2003), and finally as an assistant in the New York Provincial’s Office (2003-2007). His in-depth exposure to, understanding of, and commitment to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, makes him an ideal selection as Xavier’s next president.
Over the past two years, Raslowsky has been the superintendent of schools in Hoboken, New Jersey, an educational system with 2,500 students at six schools. In this position, his focus and leadership has resulted in a reinvention of expectations for the district, as well as some remarkable progress. Under his leadership, the District’s high school was recognized for its dramatic improvement by New Jersey Monthly and the U.S. News and World Report.
Prior to that, he worked in various capacities in the office of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, including serving as the Provincial’s Assistant for Pre-Secondary and Secondary Education, as well as his Assistant for Lay Faith Formation. In these positions, he had vital roles in addressing mission, clarifying identity issues, and ensuring effective governance. Raslowsky was the Provincial’s personal designee as a member on each board of the Province’s seven high schools and three province-sponsored middle schools.
John Raslowsky will be Xavier’s thirty-third president and the first layman to lead Xavier. While this may be a milestone, it is an event for which the Jesuits and their lay collaborators in this Province and in Jesuit education across the country have prepared for some time. Knowing that the Society was “graying” and that vocations were decreasing, Jesuit leadership throughout the nation over the past thirty years set forth on a mission to ignite the Ignatian flame among the Jesuit laity. Jack, as he is known, is one of those benefiting from these creative initiatives. He is among the authors of What Makes a Jesuit School Jesuit. He now joins the two other high school lay presidents in the New York Province and the ten lay presidents from the 52 Jesuit high schools throughout the country.
Mr. Raslowsky’s academic preparation includes an undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Vermont and a master of education in administration from Harvard University. Next spring, he anticipates receiving a master’s degree in systematic theology from Seton Hall University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. He has supplemented these degree programs with coursework at Jersey City State College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Columbia and Fordham Universities.
Mr. Raslowsky’s voluntary pursuits and interests include: current chair of the board of New York Nativity, the governing body of Nativity Mission Center, St. Ignatius School, and Brooklyn Jesuit Prep; a former volunteer with the Boy Scouts; a former coach of youth recreational basketball; and the interviewing of candidates for admission to two of his alma maters, Vermont and Harvard.
In his announcement, Richard T. Nolan, Jr., Esq. ’83 (the Chairman of the Xavier Board of Trustees – see paragraph one) stated that:
It is with great confidence and enthusiasm that the Board of Trustees welcomes Jack as Xavier's 33rd president. We are confident that he possesses the educational skill and experience, the understanding of and commitment to the charism of the Society of Jesus, and the authenticity of formation in Ignatian spirituality that the Board believes are essential in Xavier’s next president.
We see Jack’s educational leadership experience as impressively compelling. He's a proven leader of Jesuit educational institutions, with real world hands-on experience that ranges from teacher, retreat leader, moderator, and coach, to principal, trustee, board chairman, provincial’s assistant, and superintendent of schools. It is with strong conviction that we believe he is the leader Xavier needs to achieve even higher levels of performance and success as it seeks to prepare the young men of today and tomorrow for service to our country, our city, and our Catholic faith.
The provincial of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, the V. Rev. David S. Ciancimino, S.J., a 1977 graduate of Xavier and a former headmaster at the school, in approving the selection, said: “Having worked with Jack, I am confident that he will serve the Society of Jesus and Xavier well.”
While Raslowsky’s work at Xavier will commence on July 1, the Xavier school community’s plans for him will include an Installation Ceremony and Mass on September 11, 2009, and at that time or shortly thereafter, a Welcoming Reception, that will permit members of the Xavier family of alumni, parents, and friends to personally meet and greet President Raslowsky and his family.
Jack Raslowsky resides in Hoboken with his wife, Sarah, who is a mathematics teacher at the Hudson School, and their four children, John, Christian, Rebecca, and Rachel, who attend St. Francis Academy in Union City. Jack and family are parishioners at Sts. Peter and Paul in Hoboken.
From the first day of classes at Xavier High School in 1847, there was a focus on “devotion to duty and learning”, and almost from the beginning, Xavier was perceived as a school which strove to fulfill the educational needs of the sons from immigrant families. This reputation included an emphasis on offering each student a quality education, one that would serve as a foundation and as an opportunity for success in life. Today, Xavier pursues this same course, performing the same role to immigrant families, but now to those from families from origins elsewhere on the globe and often with different native languages.
Xavier High School endeavors to prepare students for the 21st century who will be persons of competence, conscience, and compassion. As a Catholic, Jesuit, college preparatory school for young men, Xavier accomplishes this goal in the context of a multicultural, urban community dedicated to learning, faith, and service. Xavier is chartered and registered by The Regents of the University of the State of New York, the New York State Department of Education, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Picture: Newly elected President Jack Raslowsky with Chairman of the Board of Trustees Richard Nolan, Esq, ’83 (l.) and outgoing President Daniel J. Gatti ’59 (r.).