Student Welfare Administrators Embrace & Empower

Student Welfare Administrators Embrace & Empower
Student Welfare Administrators Embrace & Empower
Trevor Bonat

Student Welfare Team created to help students develop

As many of you know, Mike Dressler, our Assistant Principal for Student Welfare and Discipline, will be retiring after 34 years of service to the school. His warm and guiding presence will be missed in the hallways.

In recent years, we have seen the need to expand the role of this position to provide more integrated care for students in realms other than strictly discipline. Our embrace and empower strategic goals require that this position be reinvented to better attend to the needs of our student body. We have, therefore, split the position into two:

  • an Assistant Principal for Student Welfare and Discipline who will oversee counseling, student activities, and discipline, and
  • a separate Dean of Students who will attend to daily school climate and discipline as Mike Dressler has done for years.

I am thrilled to announce to the community that Kevin Poelker will be taking on this new role as Assistant Principal for Student Welfare and Discipline, and Peter Lenzini will take over as Dean of Students. Mr. Poelker has a master's degree in coaching education and is finishing a master's in educational leadership including work on diversity and inclusion practices. He will be overseeing the integration of our student welfare programs and ensuring consistency and vision in forming your sons, and he was the unanimous choice of our student, faculty, and coach committees. Mr. Lenzini has a master's degree in history and has worked extensively on restorative justice practices in recent years including in his classroom and coaching experiences. He will work closely with Mr. Poelker in implementing these practices in the school over the next few years.

What does this mean for you and your son? Your son will experience a stronger continuum of care, greater consistency in the communication of standards and expectations for a De Smet Jesuit student, and improved school pride and spirit. If your son is experiencing difficulties, we will have greater communication across all aspects of your son's life at school to care for him more profoundly. You can expect more coordinated efforts in terms of diversity and inclusion using this new team approach. Mr. Lenzini will be in charge of routine discipline issues while Mr. Poelker will coordinate programming and handle larger discipline issues.

From Odyssey to graduation, our new student welfare team will work to ensure your son's experience in and out of the classroom will be one where he can realize himself fully in a distinctive, inclusive De Smet Jesuit brotherhood and community.