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Red Cloud Indian School Names First Lay President

January 23, 2019 — The Jesuits' Red Cloud Indian School, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, has appointed Raymond Nadolny, PhD, as its next president. The former president of North Dakota’s Williston State College, Dr. Nadolny will bring his experience to lead Red Cloud through the next phase of its growth and achievement.

Raymond Nadolny, PhD

Dr. Nadolny will become Red Cloud's 27th president on July 1, 2019, succeeding Fr. George Winzenburg, SJ. As Red Cloud’s first lay president, he will bring new experience and perspectives to the organization, while honoring its long-standing Jesuit tradition. 

“We are extremely honored to welcome Dr. Raymond Nadolny to Red Cloud,” said Rodney Bordeaux, chair of Red Cloud’s Board of Directors. “All of us at Red Cloud believe in the transformative power of education — and indeed, today we are seeing how an education rooted in Lakota and Jesuit values truly empowers our own students to pursue their own dreams, in college and beyond, while also serving their community and their people."

“After spending time speaking with Red Cloud’s teachers, staff and, most importantly, its students, I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to support their work going forward,” said Dr. Nadolny. “While remaining rooted to its core values, Red Cloud has continued to evolve to meet the needs of its students and families — by bringing culture, language and arts into the classroom; by innovating its curriculum in key areas like science and technology; and by providing students with the opportunities they need to pursue any goal. I am committed to building on that success and to learning directly from students, staff and families on how I can best serve this extraordinary organization.”

Dr. Nadolny, a leader in higher education for over 25 years, has focused much of his life’s work on creating opportunity for students in rural and low-income communities. From 2009 to 2016, he served as the third president of Williston State College, a community college within the North Dakota University System. Under Dr. Nadolny’s leadership, Williston State became one of North Dakota’s fastest-growing colleges, launching an initiative to provide high school students in five local counties with free tuition, fees and books. Thousands of new students were able to pursue higher education and their future career goals without incurring any educational debt.

During his tenure at Williston State, Dr. Nadolny created three master plans. With zero budget reserves in 2009, he undertook multiple capital projects that transformed the campus infrastructure. He partnered with the North Dakota Legislature to increase Williston’s operational budget, which included a faculty salary increase of over 20 percent. He has been praised by North Dakota academic and political leaders for improving quality of life not just for Williston students and staff but for the entire Williston community as well.

Through his career, Dr. Nadolny has also worked closely with Native American communities and organizations to expand educational opportunities for Native students. While working as an administrator in Arizona, he worked with the Tohono O’odham and Navajo public school systems in the development of their strategic plans. During his time in North Dakota, he partnered with Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, a tribal college serving the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, to support their nursing program.

Dr. Nadolny received his Ph.D. in Education from Oregon State University; a certificate in fundraising management from the University of Indiana; and a higher education management certificate from the University of Oxford. He holds a master’s in theology and has served as a chaplain, Catholic youth minister and faith formation director.

Dr. Nadolny will lead Red Cloud following a time of tremendous growth and success. Red Cloud implemented its first comprehensive strategic plan, advancing the organization’s work in crucial ways. Red Cloud introduced innovative educational programs fostering Jesuit and Lakota values and culture, expanding both the groundbreaking Lakota Language Project and a series of unique arts education opportunities. As a result of comprehensive planning and innovative programming, Red Cloud is experiencing unprecedented levels of student success, inside the classroom and out. Red Cloud’s graduation rate is close to 94%, compared to an average of 70% for Native students nationwide.

Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits' Midwest Province, said, “As I have come to know Ray, I appreciate his fervent energy for Catholic mission and his deep appreciation for inter-cultural partnership with the Lakota people. Ray will join my brother Jesuits, our Lakota partners, and our lay colleagues to lead Red Cloud Indian School to even greater service.” [Source: Red Cloud Indian School]


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