by kari dequine harden
New Orleans bureau
March 12, 2013
NEW ORLEANS — Jesuit High School on Wednesday announced the selection of a new principal. Peter Kernion, a 1990 alum who has worked as a teacher, coach and the assistant principal for student affairs for the past 12 years, will be the school’s new leader effective June 1.
Kernion will succeed current Principal Michael Giambelluca, who announced in November that he will be moving to Omaha, Neb., to assume the presidency of Creighton Preparatory School.
In November, the Rev. Raymond Fitzgerald, Jesuit president, appointed a nationwide search committee.
After reviewing the 18 applicants, the committee narrowed the search to three finalists. The final candidates met with academic department chairs and a group of students before Fitzgerald offered the position to Kernion.
Kernion will be the school’s 15th principal and only the fourth layperson to hold the job since the school opened at its Banks Street location in Mid-City in 1926.
“I share the confidence of our search committee that Peter has the requisite leadership and administrative skills to be an effective principal who will continue to lead Jesuit in a positive direction,” Fitzgerald said in a news release.
He praised Kernion’s character and abilities as a problem-solver, listener and team player. Kernion has a master’s degree in education from the University of New Orleans. He joined the Jesuit faculty in 1996 as an English teacher and assistant coach for the cross country and track teams.
Following Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the Jesuit campus, Kernion relocated to Houston where he helped to establish a satellite school for displaced Jesuit students.
After returning to New Orleans, he launched a second satellite school at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie for Jesuit students who remained in New Orleans.
Kernion lives in Old Jefferson with his wife and two children.
“I understand the importance of collaborating with others and listening to the ideas of other community members,” Kernion said in a news release. “However, I am also aware that a principal must be able to make decisions — often tough decisions — that may not be popular or well-received by everyone. ‘‘
The position of principal, he said, “is about the Jesuit High School community — especially our students.”