Xavier’s Expectations for Its New Headmaster
April 4, 2017
What qualities is the Xavier community looking for in the successor of headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X?
Brother Brian, who has served eight years as headmaster of Xavier High School, will be retiring from his position at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year. As we look ahead at the imminent announcement of who will fill Brother Brian’s shoes, it is important to take a moment and consider what we, the school community, expect from the new headmaster. By putting these expectations on paper, we prevent ourselves from blindly comparing the new headmaster with his predecessor, Brother Brian, as well as give ourselves the chance in the future to look back and compare what we expected with what we got. I spoke with several students and teachers to gain some insight on this topic.
Julen Lujambio, Sophomore class president, said that a good headmaster should be a leader. The new headmaster should be “charismatic,” “intelligent,” and “have a cool-head.” Anthony Caruso, a respected student and athlete, said how a good headmaster should be “active in the religiosity and catholicity of the school,” all the while being “respectful, humble, and honest.” He also said they should be “dedicated to serve Xavier.”
Brendan Civitello, Student Body Secretary, said he valued the qualities of friendliness, leadership, visibility, and reliability in a good headmaster. “I think the headmaster should be someone who is willing and able to engage in conversation with anyone who comes through the door,” said Brendan. In terms of leadership, Brendan elaborated the new headmaster should be “someone who has a good plan for how to run the school, know when to take charge and when to let others help.” He also felt it important that the new headmaster be someone “often seen around the school” and who is “involved in [its] day-to-day workings.” Lastly, Brendan said they should be someone whom “the students and faculty can all get along with and would enjoy having around.”
Mr. Ryan Brodeur, French teacher and Language Department Chairman, felt that a good quality for the new headmaster would be they represent Xaverian values both inside and outside the school. He deemed it important that the headmaster be someone who helps “set” and who “models” the culture of the school.
Brother Thomas Ryan, Freshman Civics teacher, said a good headmaster for Xavier would be someone who continued the “strong Catholic tradition” of the school, who could “communicate well with the faculty” and “get to know the students” to the best of their ability amidst the already demanding responsibilities of a headmaster. He also felt that the ability to listen to others was an important quality.
Analyzing the responses from just a few Xavier students and teachers, one immediately sees how similar the expectations are for the new headmaster. As Sophomore class president Julen Lujambio and Student Body Secretary Brendan Civitello said, a good headmaster should have leadership qualities such as charisma and friendliness. Students, faculty, and visitors alike should be able to approach the new headmaster with ease and strike up conversation with him just as easily. This is essential in a headmaster because it shows zeal in becoming familiar with students and to promote the school as a place where everyone is welcome. Anthony Caruso, long-distance track athlete; Mr. Brodeur, Language Chairman; and Brother Ryan, Civics teacher, all agreed that a good headmaster should be active in the religious life of the school and reflect Xavier’s values inside and outside the community. One of the many distinguishing factors of Xavier High School is its strong Catholic tradition and the school community would expect no less from the new headmaster in continuing to foster this distinguishing aspect.
It comes of no surprise that many qualities valued by students and teachers in a good headmaster are exhibited by Brother Brian. During his time at Xavier, he has made it a point to get to know students, attend hundreds of school functions, and faithfully carry on Xavier’s values as a Catholic school. Brother Brian Davis has left a deep footprint in the sands of Xavier’s history, and his retirement marks the start of a new journey for another. Just as Brother Brian has done for so many at Xavier, with open arms, a warm smile, and high hopes we welcome his successor, the new headmaster.
This article was updated on April 4th, adding a picture of Brother Brian at XLI.