Paul Colistra

Paul Colistra (source: Facebook). 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- St. Xavier High School has named its new president: Paul Colistra. 

According to a news release from school officials, Colistra has more than 13 years of experience leading Catholic schools. He will serve as the first president since Dr. Perry Sangalli, who led St. X for 19 years until his death in May 2019. 

Colistra's most recent experience includes serving as president for eight years at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia. He is credited with turning the once struggling school into "a thriving inner-city high school recognized for its diversity and rigorous academic program."

Before serving at West Catholic Prep, Colistra was an administrator at La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania.

"We are most impressed by Paul's commitment to our School's mission, appreciation of the importance of our Catholic identity and Xaverian values to our community, and proven dedication to academic excellence," said Kevin Smith, Chair of the St. X Board of Directors in a written statement. 

An Ad-Hoc Committee of the Board named a 10-member Search Committee and selected a national search firm to guide the process. Prior to finalizing the position description, input was sought and received from more than 2,500 members of the St. X Community through individual and group meetings, surveys, and a workshop.

Colistra was selected from more than 100 candidates. He and other finalists visited with members of the School Community in January. "I was most impressed with how passionately the St. X community approached this entire process," he said. 

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