With a view toward their history and a desire to strengthen Catholic education, Benedictine College Preparatory and Saint Gertrude High School unified under a single new corporation, The Benedictine Schools of Richmond, in January 2020. The Benedictine Schools of Richmond will operate Saint Gertrude High School essentially as an all-girls school division and Benedictine College Preparatory essentially as an all-boys school division. The two schools will share the Benedictine Abbey campus, including some important facilities such as the campus church, auditorium, athletic fields, and a new state-of-the-art gymnasium. For 90 years, the two schools operated just 400 feet apart in the Museum District of Richmond. In 2013, Benedictine College Preparatory relocated to the 50-acre Benedictine Abbey campus. In the summer of 2020, Saint Gertrude High School will relocate to the Benedictine Abbey campus, where the schools will, once again, be in close proximity.
Benedictine Schools of Richmond Announces First President
An excerpt from the official announcement: On behalf of both schools’ boards, it is our great pleasure to announce the appointment of Jesse A. Grapes as the new president of The Benedictine Schools of Richmond, Inc. The criteria established by our search committee for the new president aligned well with Mr. Grapes’s experience, skills, and leadership style. As an inspiring leader and accomplished community builder, we are confident that all of his experience has led to this moment and points to even greater accomplishments in the futures of Saint Gertrude and Benedictine. Mr. Grapes is well-prepared and eager to build on the solid base he has already established within our community, and we look forward to a great future for both Saint Gertrude and Benedictine under his leadership.
Please join us in welcoming Mr. Grapes and his leadership on this journey toward a future full of hope for our beloved schools. We hope you will watch Mr. Grapes’s first official address to our unified community as president below.
Benedictine Schools of Richmond Announces First Principal
An excerpt from the official announcement: On behalf of the Benedictine Schools of Richmond and the principal search committee, it is with great honor that I share that we have unanimously approved the nomination of Dr. Michael Ashton as the new principal of the Benedictine Schools of Richmond. Dr. Ashton is a proven and accomplished educational leader having served 30 years in schools across the country, most recently in Nebraska, where he currently serves as the superintendent of the Archdiocese of Omaha leading more than seventy Catholic schools. Among other accomplishments, he is noted for resourcing and enhancing spiritual formation and professional development for Catholic school leaders and teachers in the archdiocese. Dr. Ashton brings a wealth of experience with programs focused on curriculum and faculty development, admissions growth, and Catholic identity. You can read his full bio here.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Michael Ashton with Christian charity and the hospitality that is a hallmark of the Benedictine charism. We hope you will watch Dr. Ashton’s first official address to our unified community as principal below.
Benedictine Schools of Richmond Announces New Heads of Schools
An excerpt from the official announcement: On behalf of the Benedictine Schools of Richmond, we are honored to announce the appointment of our two heads of schools, one of whom will lead Saint Gertrude High School and the other Benedictine College Preparatory. We are pleased to let you know that Amy Pickral (SGHS; pictured left) and Michael Bussman (BCP; picture below right) will serve in these roles for our new school community and will participate in our new joint leadership structure.
Amy Pickral, a 1995 alumna, served as Saint Gertrude’s assistant head of school this past academic year, and her professional history with the school includes over 10 years of distinguished service as a teacher, eventually chairing the math department. As a dynamic, results-driven administrator with a focus on building personal relationships, Mrs. Pickral is beloved by students, faculty, and staff, and will bring her love and passion for single-sex education and Saint Gertrude into our joint leadership team. You can read Amy’s full bio here.
Michael Bussman has helped lead Benedictine College Preparatory as the associate headmaster for the last seven years, often spearheading joint events, initiatives, and processes between the Benedictine and Saint Gertrude communities. With over 12 years of experience in education, Mr. Bussman will bring innovation, expert communication, and spiritual focus to our efforts going forward. You can read Michael’s full bio here.