St. Francis school names 1st new leader in 36 years


St. Francis de Sales High School’s longtime leader will step down next year.

The Rev. Ronald Olszewski, president of the school since 1978, will be replaced July 1, 2015, by the school’s current vice president, the Rev. Geoffrey Rose. The Rev. Kenneth McKenna, provincial superior of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, made the appointment. The school’s board of trustees approved the decision on Wednesday, though the school announced the leadership change Monday.

Father Olszewski turns 70 in December, and said that the school would benefit from younger leadership. “I think a high school for adolescent males should be led by someone younger than 70,” he said.

Father Olszewski will continue to serve as chairman of the school’s foundation and will focus on growing the school’s endowment. His dream, he said, was to build an endowment big enough that the school’s finances would no longer be tuition-driven.

Father Rose will be the third president of the school since it opened in 1955, St. Francis said in a statement.

Before joining St. Francis, Father Rose worked at Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson, Mich., for 12 years as a teacher, chaplain, and director of campus ministry. He has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and a master of divinity degree in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College-University of Toronto.

Before his education and ministry career, Father Rose was in politics. He was elected to the Ypsilanti City Council in 1992 and selected Mayor pro-tem the next year. He also served as a senior staff member in the U.S. Congress.

“I am very honored to be appointed the next president of this great school,” Father Rose said. “St. Francis has a tradition of excellence in fulfilling its mission.”

St. Francis’ board of trustees decided in 2011 to develop a five-year strategic plan that included a succession plan.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.