Presidential Search Process
Dear Creighton Prep Community,
I am delighted to share with you that on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, the Board of Directors elected Fr. Thomas W. Neitzke, S.J., the 33rd President of Creighton Preparatory School. He will become President in April 2015.
Many of you receiving this communication already know Fr. Neitzke and are aware of his previous work at Creighton Prep and the Jesuit Academy in Omaha. He is a strong spiritual leader, grounded in the Jesuit principles that are so important to the mission of Creighton Prep. His Jesuit training has prepared him to be a wonderful leader of our mission to form men of faith, scholarship, leadership and service in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.
For several years, Fr. Neitzke has been involved with Prep as a board member, administrator and teacher. This experience provides our school with many advantages, as he clearly understands our educational and faith-based priorities placing him in a great position to lead our strategic planning process. The Wisconsin native has served on Creighton Prep’s Board of Directors since 2011 and was named Chairman in 2013. His previous roles at Prep have included serving as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs, Assistant Dean of Students and theology teacher.
As many of you know, Fr. Neitzke had been leading the search process for Prep’s new President until he was recently made available for the position by the Jesuit Provincial. At that point, the members of the search committee, including myself, immediately asked him to step down from the committee so we could consider him as a candidate.
While we had many excellent candidates as part of the selection process, we recently approached the Jesuit Provincial to request that Fr. Neitzke be made available because it became clear to the search committee that he possessed all of the essential characteristics necessary to serve as our President. We are grateful to have him lead this institution given his Jesuit training, education, passion for excellence, successful track record in educational administration and strong relationships with the Creighton Prep community.
Fr. Neitzke has been President of the Jesuit Academy in Omaha since 2011 where he previously served as Principal. He has successfully led the academy to many important achievements, most recently spearheading a fundraising campaign to establish the new Jesuit Academy Camp in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.
Creighton Prep will benefit from Fr. Neitzke’s strong academic background which includes a master’s in divinity, a master’s degree in Catholic school administration and a doctorate of educational leadership. He is an adjunct faculty member at Creighton University and is on the Board of Trustees of Seattle University and Georgetown Preparatory School.
Fr. Neitzke looks forward to continuing to work with our excellent faculty and staff to challenge, support and care for our students as they develop into accomplished scholars, athletes, artists, men of faith and generous citizens in their communities. He is eager to work with the entire community to further Prep’s success as an outstanding school, enhance our Ignatian spirituality and ensure a vibrant Prep for future generations.
This appointment is the culmination of a five-month search that engaged many in the Prep community—students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and other friends of the school. Throughout this entire process it has been clear that the Prep community possesses genuine commitment to and passion for our school. We worked closely with Fr. Thomas Lawler, S.J., the Provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, and we are grateful for his assistance. We considered and met with many excellent candidates, and we are thankful for their interest in and passion for Prep and our mission. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the search, with special gratitude to the entire search committee. Through their efforts and many hours of hard work, they prepared and executed a thoughtful and inclusive process.
In closing, I, along with Fr. Neitzke and our entire Board of Directors, would like to express deep gratitude to John Naatz. Mr. Naatz has dedicated himself to Prep as both our Principal and Acting President for the past year. In a time of transition, John faithfully led our school while maintaining the high standards of our Jesuit institution. John will continue as our Principal and will be working closely with Fr. Neitzke.
I know Fr. Neitzke looks forward to working with you to build on our incredible foundation, our clear mission and our strong community.
Patrick Duffy ’90
Chair of the Board of Directors