Jeremy Angus of Ambridge would like to raise the academic bar at Bishop Canevin High School in the Oakwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
After being named the new director of Development and alumni affairs at the Catholic high school, he said he has stepped into the role with visions of taking the school to a whole new level.
"I set very high standards for the department and what I want to see happen, and I think everybody's on board with that," he said.
"They're excited about it. I don't think goals at that high of a level have come across their desk in a while."
Mr. Angus replaced Ron Cichowicz, former executive director of advancement, who left the school at the end of the 2011-12 year.
Mr. Angus brings with him experience in the nonprofit sector, a strong knowledge of the education system and extensive marketing experience.
He previously served as executive director of the Ambridge Area Chamber of Commerce, where in late 2008 he became one of the youngest chamber directors in the United States.
He also brings extensive experience to the school through his involvement as a member of the Ambridge Area school board, chairman of the Prevention Network Board of Directors, marketing chairman of the Old Economy Village Board of Directors, chairman of the Harmony Township Planning Commission and a partner in a family-owned small business, Glat Auto Detailing, in Harmony.
Mr. Angus began his duties at Bishop Canevin in September and has spent the past few weeks getting acquainted with the institution.
"The environment around here is tremendous," he said. "I'm really impressed. It's not what's in it for me. It's how am I going to be able to benefit the kids and give them a better education?"
Mr. Angus said his new position entails a little bit of everything, including handling all the school's marketing, public and media relations, developing the alumni association and promoting alumni reunions, and overseeing the financial development of the school.
As for his goals for the high school, he described them as ambitious.
Included is a new marketing strategy that will be rolled out during the next few months aimed at promoting the outstanding aspects of the school, such as a progressive use of new technology and personalized education.
"It's impressed me to no end," he said. "I am still speechless about it. Every student is known by name, and they are not looked at [with the question] is this class doing well, but [with the question] is this student doing well? That has really blown me away."
Mr. Angus said he has aggressive financial goals and new methods to increase enrollment; he's setting a two- to three-year time frame to achieve the goals.
While he's been on the job only about a month, Mr. Angus said it has been an exciting transition, with many people jumping on board with his new ideas.
"It's just kind of been 'wow.' Here's something new," he said. "It's fresh, exciting. Sometimes you need that in an organization."
Shannon M. Nass, freelance writer: email@example.com.