By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
As a new school year gets under way at All Saints Catholic School, a new face joins its administration team in a new position. Colin Campbell in June was named as the first president for the school, which moves to a president/principal model.
“I’m grateful to be a part of such an amazing school community,” Campbell said. “The team here is phenomenal, and it is shown through the love that the families and students have for this place. It’s really telling.”
Campbell comes to All Saints from Cristo Rey Dallas, where he served as the chief operating officer of the Catholic college-prep high school that is known for partnering with businesses for its corporate work study program that helps students from households of low to moderate income gain work experience while earning tuition assistance. Having worked at Cristo Rey Dallas since its inception, Campbell brings a depth of experience in the business-side of running and growing a school as well as familiarity with the president/principal model.
“One of the most important lessons I learned at Cristo Rey is you don’t do Catholic education alone,” Campbell said. “The more that a community buys in, the better the student experience is. It also makes the community better.”
Father Alfonse Nazzaro, who prior to being assigned as the pastoral administrator for Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch had served in the same position at All Saints, played a role early in seeking to establish a president/principal model at All Saints Catholic School. He also was part of the process that brought Campbell to the school.
“Colin’s relationships with so many Dallas businesses that support a high-quality Catholic education positions him well to draw in the support of the local business community to help All Saints as it pursues opportunities to grow and innovate,” Father Nazzaro wrote in a June 3 letter to the community announcing Campbell’s appointment. “His extensive knowledge of both the business and education sides of running a school make him a great fit for the inauguration of the president/principal model for our All Saints leadership team.”
Campbell called the move to having both a president and principal “a proven model” that allows for school administrative teams to play to their strengths.
“I do believe in the president and principal model as it exists that it really helps schools grow and strategize successfully. The model allows a lot of clarity on cleaning up the roles of pastor, president and principal,” he said. “You find expertise in each of those roles and allow them to truly benefit the school community.”
In the model, as president, Campbell would lead the school with a primary focus on strategy, external relationships, and fundraising. As a result, All Saints principal Shana Druffner would be able to focus her energy on the school’s four pillars: academics, faith, character and service.
Campbell has been a parishioner at All Saints for seven years, after moving to Dallas from Indianapolis, where he worked as the assistant director of campus ministry at Providence Cristo Rey High School. He said his path to the president’s post was part professional intrigue and part “pull of the Holy Spirit.”
“I love seeing Catholic schools grow beyond their own walls and out into the community,” he said. “We’re driven by four pillars: excellence in academics, faith, character and service. We have a challenge to make all four of those relevant outside of these walls.”
Campbell praised All Saints for having a strong community.
“I want to grow what’s here, not change what’s here,” he said. “This community is remarkable. The centrality of family and faith that is here make it remarkable.”
Noting that it was his own experiences in Catholic schools from kindergarten through earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Notre Dame that drew him to work in the field of Catholic education, Campbell said he hopes to offer those same experiences to the students of All Saints.
“The evangelization that Catholic schools are charged with is exciting. It is much more an evangelization of witnessing than preaching,” he said. “I think that is what is so fun about it — to have people walk into a Catholic school, feel something different and then ask what’s different.
“We then have an opportunity to answer and share our faith with them.”