Dr. Jerry Deegan, president of Dowling Catholic High School, has announced his retirement from the school effective Oct. 1, 2017. Dr. Deegan will have served in the leadership role at the school for 17 years by the time the retirement takes effect.
“Dr. Deegan has served with outstanding skill in leading Dowling Catholic to new heights,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “From every vantage point – Catholic identity, academics, co-curricular programs, athletics, faculty and staff development to the physical plant – he has made a lasting difference. I join all who have benefitted from his service with whole-hearted thanks.”
“There is no doubt Dr. Deegan, with his energy, leadership and personality traits, will be missed,” added Bishop Pates. “Fortunately for his successor, he has built an enduring platform and culture at the school which will serve all of its stakeholders, especially the Diocese of Des Moines, well into the future.”
The school’s success is a direct result of the successful visioning and strategic planning that Dr. Deegan has led during his tenure, said diocesan Schools Superintendent Dr. Tracy Bonday.
“His strong leadership has ensured the school will maintain a strong Catholic identity, educational excellence and operational vitality. Dowling Catholic has and will continue to transform students through faith and knowledge,” she said.
A committee will be created this month to begin the process of searching for a new president for Dowling Catholic High School. A new president is expected to be named by May 1, 2017.
Dr. Deegan has dedicated his 45-year career to education, primarily at Dowling Catholic High School. He was an English teacher, counselor and assistant principal at the West Des Moines high school from 1972 through 1996 before going to Overland Park, Kansas to become principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Four years later, he was named president of Dowling Catholic, succeeding Msgr. Michael Hess, who had served as president for 24 years.
A graduate of Gehlen Catholic High School in Le Mars, Dr. Deegan earned his doctoral degree from Drake University.