Little Rock Catholic High expands administrative leadership team

Little Rock Catholic High for Boys.
Little Rock Catholic High for Boys.

Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock has expanded its administrative team, making long-time Principal Steve Straessle the campus’ first Head of School and promoting Assistant Principal Matt Dempsey to the principal’s role.

Additionally, Steve Aday, an English teacher and alumni director, will serve as the school’s new assistant principal. The changes are to take effect July 1 at the 93-year-old private school.

“With many challenges and opportunities facing education right now, I can think of no one better than Matt and Steve to help steer our storied school toward a thriving future,” Straessle said in announcing the changes.

“Both of these leaders are Catholic High graduates, but more importantly, they truly understand and are committed to nurturing the vital work we do here of transforming boys into good leaders, good fathers and good husbands in their communities,” he said.

Rector Msgr. Lawrence Frederick said the changes will create greater administrative efficiencies. Straessle will continue to lead the school’s operations while also interacting with students, parents alumni and other supporters, he said.

“Steve Straessle will still be as much of a presence on campus as in the past 18 years he’s served as principal, but he will have a new focus on ensuring the Catholic High School mission aligns with the changing dynamics in education across the state and country,” Frederick said.

Straessle, 53, is a regular columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Dempsey, 45, an alumnus of Catholic High School’s class of ‘96, holds a graduate certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Creighton University. He has bachelors degrees from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in computer information systems and quantitative analysis, as well as in industrial management. His master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello is in teaching, and he is a licensed attorney with a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

In addition to his administrative duties at the school, Dempsey has taught algebra I, algebra II, geometry, computer science, sports statistics and religion. He has also served as the faculty sponsor for Catholic High School’s Mock Trial team.

Aday, 39, graduated from Catholic High in 2002. He joined the school’s faculty in 2006. He has a Catholic School Leadership certificate from the University of Dallas. His bachelor’s degree is in English from the University of Arkansas. As the school’s assistant principal, he will serve as the dean of students.

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