Hogan to Step Down as Principal in January: Educator spent 27 years at Jesuit High School, 10 years as Principal


Jesuit Photography

Principal Hogan addresses the student body to start the year. Hogan recently announced that he will step down at the end of 2021.

In an email on September 21, 2021, Jesuit High School announced that Paul Hogan will step down as principal of Jesuit High School at the end of the 2021-22 school year. In an interview with Mr. Hogan on October 21, however, he revealed that he will be departing Jesuit after Christmas break. 

Mr. Hogan attributed his decision to step down to a variety of factors, but emphasized that it was best for Jesuit and himself.

“I have been thinking about what is best for Jesuit, and what is best for myself and my family, as I hope we all do at different times in our lives,” Hogan said. “My belief is that all of us have certain gifts and try to meet the needs of the times. I feel like I have been able to do that at Jesuit, but I also think that the principles rule in particular, and this is not just at Jesuit but at other schools, there is a particular time frame in which you can be most effective. My sense has been that over the last year or two, just heading into Covid, that I felt like our team and our school had accomplished a lot of my major goals that I had when I began as principal.”

Some of Mr. Hogan’s major goals that he accomplished included developing an effective learning support program, strengthening our Catholic and Ignatian identity, and deepening and enriching our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program.

When questioned about what feat he was most proud of during his time as principal, Mr. Hogan said it was fostering an inclusive and supportive community at Jesuit.

“I will say some of the things I’m proudest of, perhaps, is building a culture that is really inclusive, where I really hope students feel like they are a part of the community whatever their gender, their socioeconomic background, their race, their ethnicity, their religion,” Hogan said. “We are clearly and unequivocally a Catholic, Jesuit school, but we also as a Jesuit school embrace all human beings who were all made in the likeness of God. I think and hope that our students, as hard as the teenage years are, feel like they are welcomed and they’re loved and they’re seen by the adults here.”

Mr. Hogan emphasized that spiritual guidance from the Jesuits and Tom Manning helped guide his decision. 

“I learned from the Jesuits about the discernment of spirits and trying to determine where God is calling us in our work,” Hogan said. “I feel like I’ve gone through a true discernment process. Mr. Tom Manning is my spiritual director. He’s helped walk with me through this process. I’ve done a lot of prayer. I’ve felt all the way through it extremely peacefully. I felt that the Holy Spirit would guide me to the right place and the right decision. I really feel that is where I’ve landed.”

In a podcast interview, Mr. Hogan updated his departure status, saying that he will step down as principal after Christmas break. 

“That is also what I would consider the movement of the spirits,” Hogan said. “It’s typical for somebody in my role and in my experience that I would look at another school job. In fact, I was seriously considering and being considered for a presidency of another Jesuit high school. Obviously moving to another Jesuit school would mean moving out of state. To not disrupt my family life, I was also looking at local nonprofit opportunities as an Executive Director, especially non profits that have to do with young people and their futures.”

A part of Mr. Hogan’s decision to step down was his desire for a new challenge. Mr. Hogan will be pursuing this new challenge at a non-profit organization called SetPath as the founding executive director.

“The SetPath mission is to help young people between the ages of 16 and about 28 to discern their purpose in life and to plan not only what they might want in terms of an education and a career, but also take very seriously and put in writing what they want in terms of family life, what kind of friend they want to be, what their community service would look like, what relationship they want to have with social media…” Hogan said. “The idea is that they will be matched with a mentor who will be trained in this life-planning process. We are going to make it free to anybody who’s willing to go through the training to mentor any young person who wants to have a mentor and go through that life-planning process. The name SetPath means that you literally set your path.”

While SetPath is a new challenge for Mr. Hogan to tackle, he found that the type of work his role requires at SetPath complements his skills in education. 

“I was surprised and pleased to see that apparently a lot of my skills that I have developed at Jesuit and my experience were transferable to a number of those non profit opportunities,” Hogan said. “One, in particular, came my way that really is unique and very exciting, but they would have liked me to start right away. I interviewed with them and accepted an offer in mid-October, but I was able to convince them to allow me to stay at Jesuit through Christmas. I really feel like we have such a strong team that can carry forward and the principal search will be really well underway by then.

Mr. Hogan wants to make sure the Jesuit community knows that it was entirely his decision to step down, and a decision which he feels very content with. 

“I hope, first of all, that people know that this really is my decision entirely, of course with my wife and with consultation of our team here,” Hogan said. “Mr. Arndorfer has been tremendously supportive. The Vice Principals have been fantastic. They’ve known that this was coming, at least since the fall of 2019. I feel very peaceful. I’m very excited about starting at SetPath, but, of course, a part of my heart will always be at Jesuit. This place in my blood. I’m still going to be around. You will still see me at ball games and concerts still, and hopefully maybe on encounters in the future.” 

Mr. Hogan arrived at Jesuit in 1994 as an English and Journalism teacher. In 1997, he became the Academic Vice Principal, a role he held for 15 years. And in July 2012, he was appointed Jesuit’s 11th principal. Overall, Mr. Hogan has devoted 27 years of service to Jesuit High School with 10 of them in his role as principal.