From the Heart, Community Voices

Community Voices

From the Heart

May 18, 2023

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Don Albert, Director of Strategic Enrollment Management, will be retiring from the Academy at the end of June. His deep love of Sacred Heart education has been a gift to the ASH community. Below he shares his heartfelt reflections. 

As many of you know, I have made the very difficult decision to retire at the end of this school year. I look forward to retirement but will greatly miss the Academy family that has become (and will remain) such an important part of my life.

Thank you for making me feel welcome, needed, and so very much appreciated. I’ve always felt like I’ve been part of a huge family at the Academy and now look forward to spending much more time with my own family both in Missouri and California. Cindy and I plan to do more traveling, visiting my California relatives, working in the yard, and of course, spending quality time with our two precious grandsons, Max Upton, Little Acorn, and his brother, Conrad, who will begin Little Acorns in 2025. My wife and I plan to be very engaged grandparents helping their parents with transportation to and from the Academy.

When I started in the fall of 2019, I thought it was to simply come out of retirement to assist with enrollment until a permanent Admissions person could be identified. Little did I realize that this part-time temporary assignment would develop into a full-time commitment to Admissions at the Academy. Although there were many challenges early on, with countless meetings, an uphill learning curve, and a lot of hard work with colleagues and parents, we have been able to stabilize the Academy’s enrollment for the first time in a number of years. I’m proud to say we have now developed concrete plans to achieve future enrollment goals.

In addition to time with family, I am planning many exciting projects. I will continue volunteering for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and have added additional charity work for the Children’s Tumor Network for Children with Neurofibromatosis.  And if the RSCJ will have me, I would like to become a Shrine docent to share the Philippine story and to give tours of the Shrine and historic buildings. I plan to continue coaching for the Big River Training Team and I may even have one or two more World Marathons in my future (much to my wife’s chagrin).

I have promised Tim and the Leadership Team that I will work with the new Director of Admissions to ensure a smooth transition. I will be available to answer questions and pledge my assistance as often as needed. I look forward to volunteering in many capacities at the Academy. I promise, I won’t be a stranger.

I am extremely grateful for the faith that former Board Chair, Jack Ahlheim, and former Head of School, Dr. Susan Dempf, had in my abilities to navigate the Academy toward enrollment stability and for inviting me to serve the Academy in the footsteps of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. As I look forward to retirement, I trust that it will be as rewarding and enjoyable as my time at the Academy has been. The dedication and commitment by all Academy constituencies has made the Academy what it is today. Knowing the Academy continues to be in extremely capable hands is making retirement a little easier.

Wishing continuing success for the Academy’s next 204 years,

Don Albert
Alumni parent and father-in-law (Ami Albert Upton ’02, Evan Albert ’06, Becky Spezia Albert ’07) and grandparent (John Maxwell Upton ’33 and Conrad Michael Upton ’36)