President Search » Communications

Communications

President Andrew Kuffner has announced that he will conclude his tenure as president of La Salle Prep at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
 
In the fall of 2021, the Board of Trustees started the search for a new president to assume leadership of the school in the summer of 2022. 
 
This page includes communications to the community about the search for the next president of La Salle.

Aug. 17, 2021

 

Dear La Salle Community,

 
With a deep sense of gratitude and humility, I share with you that this will be my last year of service to La Salle. I have informed the Board of Trustees of my intention to conclude my tenure as president at the end of the 2021-22 school year. The board is beginning the presidential search process, and will have a full academic year for this search and leadership transition.
 
I have been immensely blessed by La Salle and appreciate the opportunity to conclude 26 years of service with the final 9 years being in senior leadership. As many of you know, I began my tenure as a Physics and Math teacher in the fall of 1996 and I have since held every role on the academic leadership team except for athletic director. I learned much from each role and chapter, but what I learned serving as president is that my heart remains with the mission of education as it relates to working directly with students and teachers; I have missed those relationships and that work.
 
I enjoyed my years as president: witnessing the Saalfeld Athletic Center become a reality thanks to our generous benefactors, selecting my successor as principal, Ms. Alanna O’Brien, who I know will be centered on mission as a visionary educational leader, and navigating challenging times of a global pandemic and racial reckoning with what I hope and pray is grace and humility. I’m committed to leading this year as we resume in-person relationships; it is what our entire mission is rooted in, and how I believe our community is most powerfully built. I look forward to shepherding and continuing exciting community and academic initiatives in design thinking/STEM, service, and leadership. I’m motivated to continue growing our capacity to provide access to this amazing Lasallian education for all who desire it and solidifying a strong and sustainable financial future for generations of Lasallians to come.
 
I believe in the strength and vibrancy of this Lasallian community and recognize this is a good time to transition to new leadership. A strong academic, advancement, and professional team is in place, ready to animate the mission of the school. The school has financial strength, and our Lasallian charism is alive and infused throughout the school. While I am not sure what my professional future holds next year, as I conclude my doctorate program next spring, it seems like a good time for me to re-evaluate that on a personal level as well.
 
What I do know is this Catholic and Lasallian mission of education has touched my heart and allowed me to uniquely live out my vocation. I will forever be grateful to the amazing students, parents, colleagues, and benefactors I have been privileged to encounter along the way. De La Salle’s story, with his trust in God’s providence and goodness, gives me both a sense of deep gratitude for the many people who have shaped me as well as the positive anticipation of the personal journey to come. This will be a great year for La Salle, and I look forward to supporting the next president as they are identified and assume leadership of this amazing institution next summer.
           
In the Spirit of De La Salle,
 
Andrew Kuffner
President
Oct. 5, 2021
 
Dear La Salle Community:
 
I wish to provide you information on the search for the next President of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.
 
As governors of the mission, the Board of Trustees regards the appointment of a President as one of its most important decisions. To that end, the Board has decided to engage the Lester Consulting Group (LCG) to manage a national search process on behalf of La Salle. LCG knows the landscape of Catholic education and the nonprofit environment, particularly on the West Coast. Most importantly, LCG is intimately familiar with the Lasallian education mission and our La Salle family. Along with the Board of Trustees, LCG is committed to seeking a President who can embrace our mission and culture while advancing our priorities.
 
The search process will be led by Lorcan Barnes, LCG owner and President. Lorcan has great familiarity with La Salle, having recently served as a trustee. Lorcan also served as the President/CEO of a Lasallian school for 16 years. He will be assisted by another friend of La Salle: Robert Jordan, who served for 10 years in the Office of Education at De La Salle Institute in Napa, Calif., and as the President/CEO of a Lasallian secondary school for eight years. Denise Jones, our former President, also will serve on the LCG team in an adjunct role. We are grateful that our executive search team is personally invested in our Lasallian family. 

Over the next several weeks, LCG will be gathering important data that will include an inventory of our most pressing priorities. This data will help LCG directly recruit potential candidates.
 
In addition to LCG’s management of the process, a search committee is being formed to help identify and screen candidates. The search committee will be comprised of trusted representatives of the La Salle community including the Board of Trustees, members of the school's faculty and staff, and other community leaders.
 
In the Spring semester, we expect to name a new President to start on July 1, 2022. I intend to provide our school community with regular updates on the search. While the selection of the President belongs to the Board of Trustees with the approval of the Lasallian Education Corporation based in Napa, the participation and voice of the La Salle community will greatly inform our decision.
 
Any leadership change within a community can be the source of great hope and excitement, as well as anxiety. As we enter this process to identify our next leader, I am reminded we should do so with what St. La Salle calls “a spirit of faith.” It has guided the De La Salle Christian Brothers for well over 300 years, and it is that same spirit of faith that will guide our school community today. Please keep this search and our efforts in your prayers.
 
Sincerely,


Shelley Larkins
Chair, Board of Trustees
Oct. 21, 2021
 
Dear La Salle Community:
 
As you may know, La Salle President/CEO Andy Kuffner announced in August that 2021-22 would be his last year of service to La Salle. Mr. Kuffner has faithfully served the La Salle community as a teacher and administrator for 25 years and will continue through June 2022.
 
It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to hire a new President/CEO. Earlier this month, we shared information with you about the search process. Since then, the Board of Trustees has established a Presidential Search Committee comprised of dedicated individuals who bring expertise and a range of experiences and perspectives to this critical effort. Working closely with the Lester Consulting Group and on behalf of La Salle’s Board of Trustees, the Presidential Search Committee will help La Salle attract a qualified pool of candidates and recommend finalists to the Board of Trustees.
 
We are grateful to the following members of the La Salle community who have agreed to serve:

1.     Mark Neil, Search Committee Chair – Alumni Parent, Board of Trustees
2.     Katie Allen – La Salle Admissions Director, Alumni Parent
3.     Jamil Berry ’03 – Alumnus, Board of Trustees
4.     Mike Daniels – Director, Office of Education De La Salle Institute (Napa, CA)
5.     Mike Doran – La Salle Faculty, parent of current student
6.     Sue Harris ’76 – Alumna, Alumni Parent, Retired Catholic school principal, Board of Trustees member
7.     Shelley Larkins – Board of Trustees Chair
8.     Oscar Leong – President/CEO, De La Salle North Catholic High School
9.     Fr. John Marshall – Board of Trustees, Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church
10.   Lisa Moran – La Salle Faculty, parent of current student
11.   Matt Rast – Foundation Board, parent of current student, Alumni Parent
 
Our consultants are gathering information from the La Salle community on the skills, qualifications, and experiences as well as the personal and leadership qualities La Salle’s next President/CEO should possess. This feedback will assist the Presidential Search Committee in its work, guide the consultants in their efforts to recruit qualified candidates, and inform the Board of Trustees’ discernment in selecting La Salle’s next President/CEO.
 
While much of the Presidential Search Committee’s work will remain confidential to ensure we are able to attract the best candidates, we will provide updates to the La Salle community as appropriate.
 
Thank you for your prayerful support in the months ahead.
 
Sincerely,
 
Shelley Larkins                                                
Chair, Board of Trustees                                 
Member, President Search Committee 

Mark Neil,
Chair, President Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees
Nov. 5, 2021 

 

Dear La Salle Community:

 

A few weeks ago, we shared that La Salle Prep has established a President Search Committee made up of trusted members of the school community who bring a variety of perspectives to the process. The President Search Committee will:

 

  • bring the voice of the La Salle community to the search process and share information about the process with the La Salle community

  • help prioritize the professional skills/qualifications/experiences and personal/leadership qualities of a strong candidate

  • attract a pool of qualified candidates by actively promoting the opportunity

  • participate in screening and interviewing candidates

  • recommend finalists to the Board of Trustees, which is ultimately responsible for selecting the next President/CEO

  • position the new president for success

  •  

In the past couple of weeks, our consultants, Lester Consulting Group Inc., have surveyed and interviewed more than 135 members of the La Salle community about the skills and qualities most important to La Salle Prep. Participants included faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, Alumni Board, and Foundation Board members as well as representatives from other strategic partners. Highlights of that data-gathering process include:

 

  • The response rate to the survey was 59%, a reflection of strong interest in this process.

  • In terms of professional background, La Salle wants a President/CEO who is an outstanding communicator and inspirational speaker. Fundraising experience and the ability to establish relationships with benefactors and strategic partners are important skills. Educational leadership experience, ideally with the Lasallian charism, was identified as a priority. Being a visionary leader with experience in strategic planning, change management, and leadership team development round out the top professional skills and experiences identified by the La Salle community.

  • In terms of personal qualities, the next President/CEO must be a person of deep faith and integrity. La Salle wants its next President/CEO to be a community builder who can read people and situations well. The ideal President/CEO will be a critical thinker and a decisive problem-solver who establishes clear standards. La Salle wants the President/CEO to be a visionary leader whose vision is inspired by the Lasallian charism.

 

It is important to note that, consistent with the standard set for all Lasallian schools in the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans, La Salle Prep’s next President/CEO must be a practicing Catholic. Though there might be outstanding leaders from other faith traditions who could embrace La Salle’s mission, the school needs a proud and articulate Catholic to effectively lead our Catholic school community. Over the years, La Salle has been blessed with CEOs who have met this standard, and we are confident that La Salle’s next President/CEO also will be a Catholic of deep faith and uncompromising integrity.

 

Andrew Kuffner will continue to serve as La Salle’s President/CEO through June 2022. The President Search Committee will be recruiting candidates in the next few months. If you know of potential candidates, please direct them to La Salle’s website, where search information - along with a Position Description - is posted on the President Search tab under the home page's News/Events heading.

 

We will keep you apprised of any significant developments in the search process.

 

During this month of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to God for La Salle Prep and the important role our school community plays in the hearts and minds of the students entrusted to our care. It is with belief in the providential hand of God that the next exceptional leader will be guided by our collective prayers to La Salle Prep.

 

Sincerely,

 

Shelley Larkins                                                
Chair, Board of Trustees                                 
Member, Presidential Search Committee 

Mark Neil,
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustee

Dec. 16, 2021

Dear La Salle Community:

As we continue our Advent journey toward Christmas, we would like to update you on the efforts and progress of the President Search Committee.

We believe clear communication will help surface qualified applicants and position La Salle’s next president for success. To these ends, the President Search Committee is implementing a stakeholder engagement plan designed to keep faculty, staff, parent leadership, alumni leadership, donors, and strategic partners informed.

Our search committee and search firm are reaching out to qualified candidates as well as sources who could identify qualified candidates. All members of the La Salle Prep community are encouraged to share the Position Description with potential candidates in their spheres of influence.

It is important to note that, unlike other positions in the school, the position of president doesn’t always follow a traditional path in education. The president’s job is more strategically and outwardly oriented than the principal's, and therefore, experience in other sectors is appropriate and can serve as an asset. La Salle is looking for a leader who can embrace La Salle’s culture and mission and lead the school to new heights.

Among the important skills and qualities that the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee value is an appreciation for the important role of diversity, equity, and inclusion at La Salle. We are actively reaching out to individuals and avenues to seek qualified candidates of color and qualified candidates with experience working in diverse communities. The Search Committee and the Board of Trustees are taking seriously this commitment to DEI, including participation in implicit bias in hiring training and reaching out to non-traditional sources for qualified Catholic leaders.

We will keep you apprised of the search process as there is news to share. With the Christmas holiday coming up, it is likely you will not receive another communication before mid-January.

During this Advent season, we pray you and your family enjoy the blessings of the hope-filled inspiration that the Christ-child brings to our world.

Sincerely,

Shelley Larkins                    
Chair, Board of Trustees                
Member, President Search Committee 

Mark Neil
Chair, President Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

P.S. Past communications related to the president search process and a position description can be found here.