Posted on April 7, 2020 · Posted in Academic News, News, Press Release

(Burbank, IL) St. Laurence High School is excited to welcome Kristy Kane as the school’s next principal. She will replace Principal Jim Muting ’73, who will retire effective July 1, 2021. Kane and Muting will work alongside each other for the 2020-21 school year to allow a full year transition together.

Kane, the third lay principal and first female principal in St. Laurence history, brings nearly 20 years of experience in education to St. Laurence – 15 in a Catholic school environment, eight of which have been as an administrator. She most recently served as Assistant Principal and Dean of Instruction at Aurora Central Catholic High School.

“I am very excited to join a school community focused on developing courageous leaders rooted in the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education,” said Kane. “It is clear that St. Laurence celebrates its past while still looking very much to the future. For the past seven years, I have gained a great deal of experience in curriculum development and feel blessed to have the opportunity to transition to a principal’s role at St. Laurence, where there are so many forward-thinking initiatives that focus on 21st century skills. It is evident that St. Laurence is devoted to developing an educational culture that fosters higher-order thinking skills while still focusing on the growth of the whole person. I am thrilled to join this wonderful and diverse community centered on God and the pursuit of excellence. I am also blessed to have Principal Muting as a mentor during my transition, as he is well known in the Archdiocese and possesses over 40 years of service to Catholic education.”

Kane’s background as an administrator at Aurora Central Catholic aligns well with many of the academic initiatives St. Laurence has put in place in order to best prepare students for college and their careers. She was the leader of the school’s project-based learning program, providing students more authentic and engaging learning opportunities. Kane was also the architect of dual credit partnerships with colleges and universities, along with a professional development partnership for teachers with Loyola University Chicago. Among notable accomplishments was doubling the number of students taking Advanced Placement classes while adding new classes as the AP coordinator, and increasing interest in the sciences among female students through the curriculum modifications she implemented as Assistant Principal.

“Kristy was the ideal choice to be our next principal because she demonstrated that she would fit immediately with our culture and challenge us to grow in excellence as an academic institution while also putting our students first,” said St. Laurence President Joe Martinez ’99. “At St. Laurence, we blend the best of tradition and innovation, providing a great student experience while embracing a changing world. At the outset of this search, we knew we needed someone who embraced this, living out our mission, our vision and the Essential Elements. Kristy is the perfect combination – a devout believer in the value of Catholic education with an incredible academic track record and an eye toward the future of education. I am confident that she will do an amazing job working with our families, teachers and administration.”

Kane emerged as the top candidate after an extensive national search conducted by Dr. Patrick Callaghan of search firm HR Partners and led by Principal Search Chairwoman Mary Tolan, Founder/Managing Partner of Chicago Pacific Founders and Trustee for Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago. The selection process included an introductory phone screening, an interview with the selection committee, a coaching assessment led by psychologist and international executive coach Dr. James Kochalka ’70 and an interview with the final selection committee. Kane was among 24 highly qualified applicants for the position.

Kane is very familiar with the landscape of education in Chicago’s southland, with a firm knowledge of local parishes and communities. She is a resident of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood, where she lives with her husband Joe, a Chicago Police Sergeant. She earned her master’s degree in instructional leadership (Type 75) from Loyola University Chicago and her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in secondary education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a strong believer in Catholic education, with previous teaching experience at Rosary High School and Mount Assisi Academy.

Kane will begin her new role on July 1, 2020.

Selection Committee

  • Mary Tolan – Principal Search Chairwoman; Founder/Managing Partner, Chicago Pacific Founders; Trustee for Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago
  • George Houlihan ’82 – Retired CEO, Voltaire Capital; St. Laurence Board Member
  • Laurie Joyner – President, Saint Xavier University; St. Laurence Board Member
  • Tom Ondrla – Retired President and Principal, St. Laurence High School
  • Amy Lapinski – Director of Operations, St. Laurence High School
  • Laura Storino – Director of Leadership and Mission Integration, St. Laurence High School
  • Bob Hogan ’90 – Vice President of Institutional Advancement, St. Laurence High School
  • Ed Sajdak ‘81 – Campus Minister, St. Laurence High School

Coaching Assessment

  • James Kochalka ’70 – Psychologist and International Executive Coach

Final Selection Committee

  • Mary Tolan – Principal Search Chairwoman; Founder/Managing Partner, Chicago Pacific Founders; Trustee for Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago
  • George Ruebenson ’66 – Retired President, Allstate Protection; St. Laurence Board Chairman
  • Jim Gay ’79 – Superintendent, Illinois School District 230; Former St. Laurence Board Member
  • Joe Martinez ’99 – President, St. Laurence High School

Phone Conversation

  • Brother Lawrence Murphy, CFC – Chairman, Sponsor Council