EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Earlier this month, Mater Dei High School named Andy Morris as its new president. Morris joined Eyewitness News on Wednesday to introduce himself to the community and share his vision for the school.
Joe: Earlier this month, Mater Dei named Evansville native Andy Morris as its new president, replacing Tad Dickel. So, Andy – thanks for joining us this morning.
Andy: Hey, thanks for having me, Joe.
Joe: So, you’re the newly-named president of Mater Dei High School. First off, just kind of tell us. What’s the role of president? Because it’s different than the principal.
Andy: Absolutely. So, the role of the president for Mater Dei High School, and for most private schools or Catholic schools, is to maintain the Catholic identity of the high school, but also to vision-set for the upcoming years, and also work on enrollment for the school.
Joe: So, what made you decide to apply for this position? Because, you worked here at ABC News 25 and our radio partners at Townsquare. This is a big change for you and the role you’re going to be playing.
Andy: Absolutely. So, for me I was kind of recommended for the position. But, it was something I had to take a little bit of time. So, I took a little bit — about a week to pray over it and discern about it, and then I went through the process of going through the interviews. It was a very lengthy process. But, it’s part one of those things; it’s a very important role for Mater Dei, that, this is something that needed to happen.
Joe: So, what are your thoughts, your plans, as you’re thinking, “I’m the president now,” of what you’re going to do to help move Mater Dei forward?
Andy: Sure. So, Mater Dei has been around — this is our 70th year. So, for Mater Dei to exist for another 10 years, for another 20 years, and to make it to the hundred-year mark — is to continue to build on the legacy that Mater Dei has stood for for the last 70 years. We want to increase her academic programs, we want to increase the enrollment for the school and to do some of these different things that’s going to set us apart in the academic world.
Joe: Now, I’ve known you for quite awhile, again, because you worked here at the station. But, you know, you have an MBA. So, did that help you actually get this position at Mater Dei?
Andy: Certainly. I think it was certainly my education along has helped me with the different careers I’ve had. Even here at Eyewitness News, and then the other careers that I’ve had since then. And, it’s definitely going to help any kind of education, as we see here at Mater Dei High School — definitely helps individuals in their career path.
Joe: Now, every job in some fashion, really, can have its difficulties. So, what challenges will the president have to face, when it comes to you to take over and school begins?
Andy: Yeah. So, you know, one of those things, Joe, was like, you know, it’s a lot different than you and I are about the same as when we were in high school and when we were in college. There are more options out there today that exist to send your children to school, either online during the day, or homeschool options, or even other private school options are popping up all the time. So, for Mater Dei, we have to be able to stand out and have excellence in our academic programs, continue to maintain that faith identity that we have, to attract new students, and to help them as they continue the career. Whether it be going to college, or becoming tradeswomen and tradesmen, or whatever vocation that they may want to pursue after their time at Mater Dei High School.
Joe: Now, did you attend Mater Dei?
Andy: I did not attend Mater Dei High School.
Joe: Okay, so, you’re very passionate, I can tell, about Mater Dei. What got you so passionate about a school you didn’t attend?
Andy: Absolutely. Well, I’m very strong in my own faith identity, and the Catholic faith. And, I have a passion for education in some of the things that I’ve done, and in my volunteerism with University of Evansville, teaching a class at the University of Southern Indiana. And, also I have some family that has attended Mater Dei in the past, and graduates. So, we have a long history there, as well.
Joe: All right, Andy Morris. New president here, of Mater Dei High School on Evansville’s west side. Thanks for taking the time to join us this morning. Congratulations to you.
Andy: Thank you, Joe.
Joe: Good luck in your first year as president at Mater Dei. When does school start, by the way?
Andy: It starts next Tuesday.
Andy: It is not too late to apply for Mater Dei High School.
Joe: There you go. Words from the president himself, right there. Already putting it right out there. We’ll take it. Andy Morris, thanks so much.
Andy: Thank you, Joe.
(This story was originally published on July 31, 2019)