Jon McDowall has been appointed as the sixteenth rector of St Bede’s College in Christchurch.
Mr McDowall was previously the associate rector at St Bede’s. He succeeds Justin Boyle, who is taking up a position with the Society of Mary as education director of Catholic character, working with the three Catholic colleges that remain in the proprietorship of the society.
St Bede’s College board of trustees chair Rebecca Methven and board of proprietors chair Shane O’Brien announced the appointment of Mr McDowall just before Christmas last year.
In a message posted on Facebook, they stated that the two boards had engaged Sheffield Consulting to undertake a national and international search for the next rector of St Bede’s College.
“The boards were heartened with the response and calibre of candidates for this important role,” the announcement added, also stating that a rigorous recruitment process took place.
He started as rector in term 1, 2023.
St Bede’s suppled a statement to NZ Catholic saying, “Jon is a strong faith centered leader with a passion for boys’ education with a particular interest in ensuring equity and excellence for all. As the college’s previous associate rector, Jon has already played a significant role in the success of the college since joining it six years ago leading the redevelopment of its learning pathways, pastoral programmes and boarding school. Jon is also the current chairperson of the New Zealand Boarding Schools Association, and is a leadership partner with the Education Review Office”.
He was welcomed to the role in the first week of term at the opening staff liturgy with a special prayer and gift from the college’s student leaders, as well as at the college mihi whakatau.
Mr Boyle announced his resignation in September last year. In a post on the St Bede’s facebook page, he stated that “it has been a privilege to have been among such a warm and welcoming community over the past 20 years, and to have worked alongside so many wonderful people”.
“For almost one third of my life, St Bede’s has been such an integral part. The Rector’s House is one our family knows best, where we have shared many fond memories, so it will be a wrench leaving. It has been an absolute privilege to be the rector of this fine college and to take it into its second century, still honouring why the college was established, to grow boys to be good men in an unashamedly Catholic and Marist way,” Mr Boyle wrote.
He added that his new role will also see him have “working relationships with the senate and other schools in the Marist network. I will still be based in Christchurch and still be affiliated to St Bede’s in some capacity”.