I am delighted to announce that Shaka Rawls, Leo Class of ’93, has accepted the position of Principal/Academic Director of Leo Catholic High School effective July 1st 2016. I can’t think of a better man for the job and am particularly proud to have a Leo Man become the chief educator of our young men.

Mr. Rawls is an accomplished educator with a proven track record of academic success. He most recently served as a school and community administrator in the Chicago Public Schools where he led curriculum planning on instructional leadership teams on both the elementary and high school levels. He also organized and established a system of data collection to evaluate the educational health of a school. Mr. Rawls is the founder of I.M.P.A.C.T. (Inspiring and Motivating Positive Actions for City Teens), an organization dedicated to community engagement and mentoring city students. He has more than 14 years of classroom experience, holding various teaching positions at both the high school and college level.

After graduating from Leo High School, Mr. Rawls received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Aurora University. He went on to receive his Masters in Education and Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Rawls is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Educational Policy Studies from UIC, where he will be defending his dissertation next spring, the final step of the Ph.D process.

Mr. Rawls is committed to strengthening Leo’s overall academic profile, enhancing each Leo student’s experience here and making us more competitive with our public, Catholic and charter school rivals. I have every confidence that he will succeed, and I truly believe the chapter in Leo history he is about to write will be a great one.

“I’m a Leo Man,” Mr. Rawls said. “Leo has been a big part of my life since I was 14 years old, and I’m looking forward to this opportunity to serve the school that has meant so much to me and help it grow. I believe education is the key to success in life, and I’m committed to providing a quality Catholic education to every young man who comes to Leo.”

Please join us at a Welcome Reception for Mr. Rawls here at Leo on Sunday, July 17 from 1-3 p.m. He will articulate his vision for Leo High School and answer any questions you might have. You will find Mr. Rawls to be a warm, caring, empathetic man of high character whose daily involvement with our young men will make a profound difference in their lives. 

As we prepare to welcome Mr. Rawls, I would be remiss if I didn’t express gratitude to and appreciation for his predecessor, Mr. Phil Mesina, who served Leo with distinction and loyalty and played a major role in keeping us going during a period of transition. We wish Phil the best as he moves on to the next phase of his career.

Please join me in welcoming Shaka Rawls back to Leo! 

Best regards,
Dan McGrath ’68
President, Leo High School