Letter from Fr. Jerry Jacob Regarding New School Leadership Appointment

Dear Saint Francis de Sales Parish community,

As the temporary administrator of your parish, I wanted to add my congratulations and best wishes to both Kyle Schmitt and Mary Keller.

It is bittersweet to say goodbye to Kyle Schmitt. Kyle has been a wonderful school Principal and, during his tenure, has made many contributions to the St. Francis de Sales Parish School. Kyle has led the school to its second Blue Ribbon Award, put the school on a path to financial sustainability, increased school enrollment, improved overall programing including new writing and middle school math curriculum adoptions, launched the school’s aftercare program, and has guided the school safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While Kyle’s departure was unexpected, I want to thank him for his great service to the parish school and community of Saint Francis, and offer my prayers for him and his growing family as he begins a new role as President of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga Tennessee.  May God’s Blessing be upon them in this time of transition.

St. Francis de Sales Parish School is very blessed to have many great teachers and two excellent Assistant Principals. I would like to add my name to the long list of those congratulating Mary Keller on her appointment as the new Principal of the St. Francis de Sales Parish School.

Mary has an impeccable resume, was a highly sought-after candidate for Principal at several Archdiocese schools, has a master’s degree in mathematics, and has worked closely with Kyle Schmitt and Fr. Ryan over the past several years. An important consideration from my vantage point is that Mary’s heart is here at Saint Francis de Sales Parish.  She has expressed to me her love for Christ and for this parish community. Her commitment to Catholic education is evident from her dedication to our school community for many years.

Please know that I, along with Fr. Ryan and parish leadership, followed a selection and interview process in conjunction with, and endorsed by, the Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic Schools. The parish leaders, including me, who interviewed Mary for the position of Principal unanimously recommended her.

At this time while Fr. Ryan has been asked to step aside from the parish, we are grateful for the stability and continuity that Mary brings to our parish school. Fr. Ryan and I could not be more pleased with Mary’s selection as Principal and wish her all the best in her new position.


Let us pray for one another,

Fr. Jerry Jacob
Temporary Administrator

Dean Vicariate 1-A