Marching on

Ella Schulte , News Writer

“Fight hard for Xavier High, we are the Saints, so hear our cry.”

Graduation ceremonies, state championships, Friday morning prayer, an activities director, coach, teacher, husband, father, principal and president are all activities and titles Xavier’s Mr. Tom Keating has been a part of and acquired over the years.

Beginning July 1, Keating will continue to shape the minds and hearts of the students, faculty and families he serves by assuming the position as the sixth executive director of IHSAA, the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

President Tom Keating poses for a picture after the boys’ soccer team win at state in 2011. Photo Submitted.

According to the IHSAA’s website, the association serves its members, schools and students by providing leadership and support for education based interscholastic athletics that enrich the educational experience of the student athlete.

As executive director, Keating plans on approaching the organization by enthusiastically observing, evaluating and determining what changes, if any, need to be made in order to elevate the program as a whole.

It is evident that his indelible mark has been left across the state of Iowa in regard to his assistance with an assortment of programs.

Having served on the IHSAA Board of Control for 10 years, in addition to teaching, coaching, directing an activities program and serving as both principal and president, Keating has implemented numerous changes to Xavier’s infrastructure.

“This is a sad day for Xavier,” Coach Duane Schulte said in an article published by the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “All the things he spearheaded here, like block scheduling…this is a big loss.”

A few of the notable additions Keating, the administration, school board and faculty have instituted at Xavier over the course of the past decade include, but are not limited to, Kairos, dual credit opportunities for students, a partnership with Kirkwood College’s Regional Academy, the introduction of a Digital Learning Environment, Friday morning Mass and adoration, the XCEED Conference, finishing the semester prior to Christmas break, Discover Xavier Night, block scheduling, the president/principal model and dancing with the Saints.

“The relationships I’ve built here have impacted me profoundly,” Keating said. “This is what makes it a very difficult decision. Every teacher, staff member, student, parent, pastor and all others connected with Xavier have helped me become the person I am today. It was always going to take quite an opportunity to make me think about leaving Xavier. This was that opportunity.”

When asked if he could give one final piece of advice to the Xavier community, he replied, “The same advice I give year after year: Remember that we either get better or worse, we never stay the same. Continually find ways to be a better student, performer, friend, classmate, brother/sister, teacher, parent, administrator, Christian and human being. Higher Learning Technologies, a company owned by 2005 Xavier alumni, has a sign you see as soon as you walk in their office suite – ‘Always challenge the old ways.’ That doesn’t mean ignore them, it means constantly ask, why do we do it this way, and is there a better way?”

In his new role, Keating will challenge the old and march on while his legacy unfolds. “Fight hard for Xavier High, we are the Saints so hear our cry.”