News: Dr. Deegan named Schools Coordinator

April 2, 2019

Jerry Deegan

Following a year-long diocesan schools strategic planning initiative, completed earlier this month, Bishop Richard Pates named Dr. Jerry Deegan the coordinator of an implementation process that’s expected to create long-term stability and foster growth for the schools.

Deegan retired last year after serving 41 years at Dowling Catholic High School, 17 years of that service as president of the school. He holds a doctoral degree in Educational Administration from Drake University in Des Moines. He chaired the Blue Ribbon Task Force created last year to examine the needs and future plan options for the schools in the Diocese of Des Moines.

Guided by Meitler consultants, the strategic plan concluded that the Des Moines metro area Catholic elementary schools would benefit from working closely together versus individually, producing better results given the challenges they face. By doing so, the schools would strengthen Catholic identity and faith formation, boost enrollment, improve academics, and address governance, finance and facilities issues. The region has 11 Catholic elementary schools with 3,808 students and one Catholic high school with an enrollment of 1,406.

“Jerry Deegan is an ideal person to lead the implementation phase of the planning process,” said Bishop Richard Pates. “He has served most of his career in Catholic education in our diocese. He led the strategic planning committee and is committed to helping us in his retirement to move our schools from good to great.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many great people in the diocesan strategic planning process.  I learned from my experience at Dowling Catholic how important it is for a community to have a vision and a plan to reach that vision,” said Deegan.  “The work ahead will challenge and stretch us. It will allow us to grow in new and exciting ways to achieve our goal of having excellent Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines. ”      

“We’re blessed to have someone with Dr. Deegan’s skills and ability help us,” said diocesan Schools Superintendent Dr. Tracy Bonday. “He sees the big picture of where we want to go, he has a solid understanding of education models that succeed around the country and he has the respect of our school administrators, pastors and parents.”

Areas that may be addressed through greater collaboration among the Des Moines metro area schools include branding/marketing, changing the funding model, fundraising, transforming teacher/administrator compensation, training and supporting school boards, aligning K-12 academic programs, exploring innovative academic programs, enhancing professional development, building on technology expertise and purchasing curriculum and technology.

 Deegan’s position is for one year beginning immediately.