By Ferenc Somogyi ’21
The rumors have finally ended. After months of deliberation, the Saint Ignatius administration has revealed its choice for its new principal to replace Mr. Bradesca: Dr. Fior ’02. With his many years as a school administrator and teacher, the current Theology Department head will start his new role in the summer before next school year.
Dr. Fior genuinely cares about the wellbeing of Saint Ignatius students. His classes are often peppered with his own questions to his pupils about how they are handling their schoolwork, extracurriculars, and athletics. His goal is to keep Ignatians healthy and unstressed. He does this primarily through his belief in the power and impact of the Catholic faith, especially as embodied at Saint Ignatius. In his own words, he desires to “carry on [the school’s] commitment to our Catholic, Jesuit mission.” Furthermore, Dr. Fior wants “to partner with teachers and students to deepen our Catholic identity, stimulate our Jesuit mission, continue to pursue academic excellence, and be a good steward of the apostolate.”
Mr. Bradesca, as the outgoing principal, has confidence in the ability of Dr. Fior to succeed in his new role. He comments, “Dr. Fior is poised to continue this work. He and I share the same vision, and I am honored to work for him going forward.” Of course, Mr. Bradesca will not be leaving Saint Ignatius entirely. Instead, he will take on a full-time teaching position in the English Department, in which he has taught a small number of classes over the past several years. Furthermore, Mr. Bradesca’s own sons are now beginning their Ignatian careers. “For me, the perfect time to step aside coincides with my son attending Saint Ignatius, followed closely by my other son. It’s time for me to be an Ignatius dad.”
The administration change has naturally incited student discussion on what modifications will be made to the school under Dr. Fior. Obviously, as with any change in leadership, Dr. Fior will bring a new leadership style to his alma mater. This style will complement our school: Saint Ignatius will continue to be rooted in its Jesuit mission and principles. Students can expect stability and betterment of their Ignatian experiences in the coming years. And Mr. Bradesca adds that the work of principal will always be the work of a team of administrators striving for student success.
Students will be the focus of Dr. Fior, as they have been for Mr. Bradesca. “I am proud that we have always strived to put the students at the top of our priority list. Believe it or not, that is sometimes not as easy as it looks,” Mr. Bradesca comments. Dr. Fior adds, “I admire and plan to build off of [Mr. Bradesca’s] earnest and primary concern for students, particularly the important work and issue of mental health, to continue his commitment to exploring what the research, science, and evidence say about teaching and learning.”
In conclusion, both Mr. Bradesca and Dr. Fior would like to say a few words to you, the student body.
From Mr. Bradesca: “Gentlemen, it has been an honor to work as Principal on your behalf. I can’t wait to get back in the classroom full time and get down to business. I look forward to seeing you in class next year! And of course, one last thing: The roads are fine.”
From Dr. Fior: “Your voice is important to me. So, come visit, tell me your story, share your hopes, dreams, ideas, and concerns for the school. Say ‘hello’ in the hallway or in Rade. Let’s learn together, have fun together, grow together, and most importantly pray together.”
That bastion of faith and learning that is our school will continue to stand tall in Ohio City as we prepare for one outstanding administrator to hand the baton to another. The greater glory of God will remain the rightful core of the Saint Ignatius identity as Dr. Fior continues the unflinching work of Mr. Bradesca: leading this amazing institution into a remarkable future.