Meet Rockhurst's Interim President
“I am humbled and honored to have been asked to serve
as the Interim President of Rockhurst High School,
a vital work of the Society of Jesus and the Church in Kansas City.
I look forward to rejoining my former colleagues and many friends in
assisting our wonderful students, parents, alumni and benefactors.”
-Rev. William T. Sheahan, SJ
Bill Sheahan knows Catholic education. He knows Jesuit formation. He’s excited about both as his life work.
Fr. Sheahan began his service to Rockhurst High School in the fall of 2008, teaching junior English and sophomore Theology. During the fall of 2011, at the direction of the school’s president, Rev. Terrence A. Baum, SJ, and its principal, Mr. Gregory M. Harkness ’81, Fr. Sheahan began a needs assessment of work that would lead to establishment of the Hurtado Scholars Program, an educational and leadership opportunity to prepare urban core middle school boys for success at a college preparatory high school and beyond.
When the Hurtado Scholars Program officially began operations in the summer of 2013, Fr. Sheahan became its first director. He guided a team of educators in successfully forming the earliest cohorts of Hurtado Scholars as the program grew in reputation. The first class of Hurtado Scholars Alumni was admitted as Freshmen at Rockhurst High School in 2016.
During the 2014-15 Academic Year, Fr. Sheahan expanded his duties at Rockhurst High School to join the Advancement Team. He was instrumental in securing grants for the Hurtado Scholars, as well as other funding initiatives, particularly devoted to tuition assistance for families.
Fr. Sheahan left Rockhurst High School in the summer of 2015 to begin his Jesuit Tertianship Year in Puente Grande, Jalisco, MX, near Guadalajara. He returned to Kansas City last year when the Very Rev. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province, appointed Fr. Sheahan to be the Rector of the Rockhurst Jesuit Community.
Among Fr. Sheahan’s earlier service to the Society of Jesus is work as campus minister for St. Louis University (2004-2006), Theology teacher at St. Louis University High School (1999-2001), organizer for the Kansas City Church Community Organization (CCO) (1997-1999), and adjunct instructor for political science at Rockhurst University (1998-1999). As a Jesuit novice and scholastic in formation from 1992 to 1997, Fr. Sheahan managed a shelter for Central American refugees in El Paso, TX, provided pastoral care for hospice patients in Denver, CO, and taught Spanish reading and grammar to middle school students in New York City.
Fr. Sheahan is a native of St. Louis and an alumnus of St. Louis University High School. He has a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, and additional graduate studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. Fr. Sheahan earned his Master of Arts in public administration from St. Louis University, after completing his undergraduate work at Marquette University with a double major in English and political science. In addition, Fr. Sheahan has been completing graduate course work at Rockhurst University toward a Master of Education degree.
Working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and administration of Rockhurst High School, Fr. Sheahan will serve as Interim President from the time Fr. Baum leaves office on June 30, 2017, to when Mr. David J. Laughlin joins the Rockhurst High School community as its 17th president on July 1, 2018. Fr. Sheahan will oversee mission-driven operations focused on fiscal stability, student program enhancement, and strengthening community relations in support of funding for Rockhurst High School.
“Fr. Sheahan has distinguished himself as a caring, thoughtful leader who desires to honor Christ in all that he does,” commented Fr. Baum. “The Board of Trustees has selected an outstanding person to provide solid leadership during this time of transition.”