Students’ opinion on the next president


photo via Archbishop Hoban High School

Hoban is at a crossroads. Following the dedicated service of Dr. Tom Curry, we are yet again looking for a new school president. As the administrative leader of the school, the buck stops with the president. Though we know the Board of Directors has already begun its search for our next executive, we the students believe there are certain qualifications that they must meet.

First and most importantly, the next president needs to be a part of the Hoban community. While that limits the scope of a prospective hire, it is necessary for the school’s well-being. In recent years, the student experience at Hoban has significantly deteriorated. Even as current seniors, the difference in enthusiasm in the school is palpable. Now, we concede a president alone will not revitalize the school, but it is crucial that our leader understands, appreciates and even has taken part in our hallowed traditions. Traditions are essential to our school, make Hoban the place we love and must be protected. Though a national headhunter may find a qualified on-paper candidate, that is not the personal touch Hoban needs. We need someone who is one of us, so that our proud tradition can continue to be fostered into the future.

Next, Hoban needs someone who is willing to form meaningful connections with the students. Hoban places an incredible emphasis on family and it is the role of the president to foster this. They need to be approachable, make an effort to know students and truly immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the school. Moreover, the next president needs to encourage transparency between administration, faculty and students. When decisions are made behind the scenes that affect students, authenticity and trust must prevail. In past years when decisions have been made without explanation, a negative response almost always ensues, simply due to the lack of transparency.

How can they decide where the budget should be directed if they don’t understand the importance of a show on Barry Gym’s stage or what a difference Project Hope makes in the lives of students and the surrounding community? It is Hoban’s role to educate, inspire and nourish the hearts and minds of all students. The extracurriculars students choose to participate in shape our personalities and transform the high school experience. However, none of this would be possible without the support of the school. There needs to be a relationship made between administration, faculty and students that we are all in this together. Hoban needs to re-embrace its community atmosphere and diminish any adversarial undertones. We affectionately call ourselves the Hoban family and this is an excellent opportunity to live up to that. As students we encourage the board to look for an individual who knows the sense of family Hoban brings and then enliven it, like a bellow to a fire.

Lastly, we would like to see someone become president who is known not only in the broader Hoban community/alumni network, but also someone who is a leader in the greater Akron area. Hoban’s students not only fully accept the people in the building day-to-day, but also the neighborhood and city around us as well. It is important that our school’s next leader share that same appreciation so we can continue to be stewards to the community. Whether it is through immediate service, fulfilling our commitment to be an “option for the poor” or simply continuing to be good neighbors, it is important that we transcend the bricks and mortar.

Our instruction at Hoban is based on Blessed Basil Moreau’s writing that “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.”

The academics at Hoban are rigorous and challenging. However, the board must place the utmost consideration on how the next president will influence the hearts of students. The Hoban experience creates men and women for Christ through our unique traditions, community and universal acceptance of others. Hoban needs someone who can live up to the school’s mission to build the Kingdom of God here on Earth.