July 11, 2017
Communications and Marketing
On July 1, alumnus Kevin Powers '08 began his position as the superintendent of Catholic Community Schools (CCS), a newly-consolidated school system of eight schools in the metro area of St. Cloud, Minnesota.
With the support of his wife, Mary, who urged him to apply for the position, Powers was selected after an extensive, nationwide search by the CCS corporate board. Even amongst 14 other qualified applicants, Powers stood out.
"Kevin Powers has demonstrated a passionate commitment to Catholic education both as a teacher and administrator," said Bishop Donald Kettler of St. Cloud in an interview with The Newsleaders. "His vision for Catholic Community Schools will strengthen efforts to provide a top-notch education as we form the next generation of leaders for our world and our Church."
Though he graduated from Saint Anselm College with a business degree in 2008, Powers always felt "called" to education. His senior year at the college, he volunteered with the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, working in a kindergarten classroom for hearing-impaired children and teaching English to immigrants in Manchester. The service Powers experienced through the Meelia Center and also through the Office of Campus Ministry became a "real passion" of his.
"I enjoyed helping people, and I realized more and more I wanted to be in schools," said Powers. "I was surrounded by so many passionate and mission-oriented people [at Saint Anselm] that it made it easy for me to consider going into service after graduation."
This led him to the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, through which he taught second graders in Los Angeles, California for two years. In 2010, Powers graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a master's degree in education, and he earned a second master's degree in education leadership from DePaul University just three years later while teaching in Chicago, Illinois.
For the next three years, Powers served as principal at St. Margaret of Scotland School in St. Louis, Missouri. During his tenure, he took steps to improve the school's curriculum and support systems to better serve the diverse student population at St. Margaret's; his efforts helped to raise the elementary school's test scores and almost double new student enrollment.
An active member of his faith community, Powers also served on the Archdiocese of Chicago's Curriculum Advisory Council, Archdiocese Principal Advisory committee, and the Archdiocese School Board Subcommittee on Financial Strategies while principal at St. Margaret's.
His favorite part of the job? As a faith-based educator, Powers "loves seeing students grow over time." He explained, "When they come in the fall and when they leave in the spring, the students grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is an amazing transformation that I love being a part of."
As superintendent, Powers is eager to create more lasting relationships with the teachers, students, parents, and community members of St. Cloud and foster a faith community.
"My faith is what keeps me going in my job," Powers said. "There are ups and downs in education. Parents are upset; students make mistakes; students come from difficult home situations; but my faith has guided me all these years. I was not looking to change jobs or move to Minnesota, but I felt that the Holy Spirit was pushing me to a new challenge. Then this door was opened for me."
- News Story by The Visitor, the Diocese of St. Cloud »
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Story by Jasmine Blais '17