A first for Badin HS: New leadership structure created for school’s future

HAMILTON —For the first time in its more than half century existence, Butler County’s only Catholic high school is altering its top leadership structure.

Brian Pendergest, the 12-year veteran principal of Badin High School, will become the school’s first president for next school year.

Pendergest’s position will be filled, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, by current Badin Assistant Principal Patrick Keating, said school officials in a statement sent to school families of the west Hamilton high school.

The new leadership alignment is needed, said school officials, to “reach our academic and advancement goals,” wrote Badin Board Chairwoman Cynamon Trokhan.

The president, said school officials, will direct fundraising, finances, facilities and faith life as well as strategic planning for the school, with the principal being in charge of day-to-day school activities. The board recommendations were approved by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which oversees the Catholic high school as well as dozens of others in a 19-county area.

Pendergest said “I’m honored that the board has the trust in me to recommend me for this position.”

“As much as I have enjoyed being principal, I’m excited about the new challenges ahead to continue to help a school that I’m very passionate about.”

Pendergest said he will look forward to new projects, including a proposed parking and multi-sport stadium complex behind the high school on New London Road.

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His 12-year legacy as the school’s principal includes providing personal learning technology for every, the installation of new academic programs such as engineering and a variety of elective courses of study along with the school’s addition of a $2 million Student Development Center.

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“It’s been a complete team effort,” Pendergest said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have great people here in a variety of roles who really care about our students. Put the right people in the right places and good things happen.”

And promoting Keating into the principal’s role is an extension of that philosophy, said officials.

“I believe firmly in Catholic education,” Keating said. “I feel like I’m an extension of this place, and I want to espouse the values and beliefs of Badin High School.”

Badin’s enrollment has gone from 448 students in the 2010-11 school year to 623 students at the start of this school year and continues to rise.

“Badin has seen tremendous growth in the last 10 years,” Keating said, “and it will be my job to continue that growth in a variety of ways. I want this place to always be a home to all of the students who walk through our doors. And when they leave, I want them to feel like they can always call this place home.”

Keating has an undergraduate degree from Miami University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Notre Dame. He taught social studies for eight years at Badin before being named assistant principal. He and his wife, the former Erin Stenger — who is a Math teacher at Badin — are the parents of three children and live in Hamilton.

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