The New President Search Committee, lead by Co-Chairs Julie McCulloh and Tom McKeirnan spent the past year listening carefully to Gonzaga Prep constituents in order to identify desired characteristics in an inspired leader to promote and enhance Gonzaga Prep's mission in the short and long term. Several excellent candidates expressed interest in the Gonzaga Prep leadership position, two candidates emerged as distinctive and most-qualified. Through prayer and discernment, the Search Committee and School Board selected a candidate able to lead with faith, confidence and clarity of vision.
The Gonzaga Preparatory School Board is excited to announce Mr. Michael Dougherty as its 10th president since separately incorporating from Gonzaga College in 1954. Mr. Dougherty has spent the last decade serving as president of Josephinum Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Chicago.
“Michael has done inspiring work at Josephinum Academy; he has led the school to greater financial health and inspired a culture which raised academic expectations and college-going rates among its students. We are thrilled that Michael and his family will join the Gonzaga Prep – and Spokane – community.”
- Julie McCulloh, New President Search Committee Co-Chair and Dean of Admission, Gonzaga University
“It was inspiring to engage with the exceptional candidates who were drawn to Gonzaga Prep’s mission to serve all those who desire a Catholic education in the Jesuit tradition in the Spokane community. Michael Dougherty is an experienced, high-energy leader with demonstrated passion for Catholic education who will work collaboratively to expand Gonzaga Prep’s reach in diverse enrollment and its base of financial support.”
- Tom McKeirnan, New President Search Committee Co-Chair and Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Michigan as well as a Master of Arts in Theology with Honors from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. His career began in the banking industry before teaching high school in the San Francisco Bay area.
Michael’s tenure at Josephinum was marked with innovation and initiative including seeking and obtaining sponsorship from the Sacred Heart Schools network and curricular enhancement that raised the college-bound rate of its students. His work has been grounded in faith and a desire to provide transformative experiences for students. Michael is passionate about Catholic education and mission.
Having proven administrative skills, unique strengths in mission advancement, fundraising and marketing, combined with strong financial management skills, he has built a thorough understanding of and respect for faculty excellence and is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.
Michael recognizes Gonzaga Preparatory’s history of excellence, strength of community and tradition. He will seek to promote enrollment, enhance the Fair Share Tuition program and build financial sustainability. He values community at the core of the student's experience and its lasting impact on families, alumni, benefactors and the greater Spokane/North Idaho area.
Michael and his wife, Jenny, have three boys, the oldest of whom will attend Gonzaga Prep as a freshman next year. With a great love for the outdoors they are excited to call the Spokane area home. Michael Dougherty will officially begin his term as president of Gonzaga Preparatory School in July 2017 and will formally be installed as President in September 2017. Please join us as we welcome Michael and the Dougherty family to Spokane.
Al Falkner, current Gonzaga Prep president, will retire on June 30, 2017, after a career spanning forty-three years: Al served as teacher, coach, principal and - for the past thirteen years - as president.
"Gonzaga Prep was very blessed to have had extraordinary applicants for the important position of president. Michael Dougherty was chosen from that group because of his passionate sense of mission, commitment to building a vibrant school community, ten years of Catholic school administrative and fundraising experience, and uniquely strong academic background in both business and theology. I am confident that while maintaining the school's deep sense of tradition and excellence, his leadership will help the school grow and adapt, as all great Jesuit schools do, to meet the needs of its students in the 21st century."
- Al Falkner, Gonzaga Preparatory School President
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