July 12, 2022: St. Thomas More High School announces the launch of a yearlong process that will culminate with the creation of a new Strategic Plan to guide the school over the next five years.
“With growing enrollment and consistent fundraising, St. Thomas More now must plan for its long-term future,” President John Hoch (TM ’87) said. “Although we are far from a rich school, our current financial stability will allow us to create an ambitious Strategic Plan that cements St. Thomas More’s status as a leader in Catholic education.”
St. Thomas More has hired Partners in Mission, which has facilitated strategic planning processes with hundreds of Catholic schools and dioceses across the country, to assist the school in developing a comprehensive blueprint for future success. Partners in Mission will work closely with the school’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee, chaired by Pegasus Partners Chief Operating Officer Eric Conner (TM ’03) and former Bucyrus Vice President Mike Lisowski.
“This school has made a huge difference for my family, and I want to do everything I can to ensure it remains a valuable resource for our community,” said Lisowski, who is also a member of St. Thomas More’s advancement committee. Lisowski’s daughter graduated from the school in 2002, and his grandchildren currently attend St. Thomas More. “I know St. Thomas More has made a similar impact on countless other families, and I encourage those supporters to share their thoughts on how we can continue improving the educational experience at St. Thomas More.”
St. Thomas More will reach out to members of our school community – alumni, board members, current parents, alumni parents, faculty and staff, coaches, volunteers, and more – to ask for their participation in various stages of the process. Among the first requests will be serving as a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
“We hope to have representation on the Steering Committee from all aspects of the St. Thomas More community,” said Conner, who also serves as vice-chair of the school’s board of directors. “The school’s next strategic plan should reflect not only the ideas of past stakeholders; it should include insight from younger alumni who will dedicate their time and resources to St. Thomas More in the decades to come.”
In collaboration with Partners in Mission, committee members will gather and analyze data on eight school domains: Academics, Advancement, Catholic Identity, Enrollment, Facilities, Finance, Governance, and Student Life. This data, collected through school climate surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders, will help identify perceived strengths and weaknesses for each of these eight domains.
“St. Thomas More has over 150 years of history because of the foundation we have built in each of these eight areas,” said Pat Hasek, St. Thomas More’s human resources coordinator, who will play a key role in the planning process. “However, education is changing rapidly, and we must ensure that St. Thomas More can quickly adapt to meet our students’ needs in a post-Covid world.”
Once the data collection and analysis are complete, additional members of the community will be invited to join the Steering Committee for a weekend retreat to draft goals, objectives, and benchmarks for all eight domains, as well as a framework for implementation. These elements will be compiled and presented to the school’s board of directors, who must then approve the plan. The approved plan will be a transformational guiding light for St. Thomas More over the next five years.
“This process will be arduous but rewarding,” said senior administrator Tom Huppertz, who recently returned to St. Thomas More to manage the strategic planning process. The father of a 2011 alumnus, Huppertz was the school’s finance director from 2011 to 2015. “Strategic planning involves many hours of hard work and collaboration, but the final product will be well worth the effort.”
Irene and Brian Binash (TM ’73) have generously supported St. Thomas More as the school begins the strategic planning process. St. Thomas More thanks them for their continued belief in its mission to provide students with the foundation to lead humbly, always seek truth and knowledge, and answer God’s call to serve.