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New Activities & Athletic Director Named for BSM

New Activities & Athletic Director Named for BSM
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Benilde-St. Margaret’s is pleased to announce that alum Rick Johns '70 has been named its new director of athletics and activities effective July 10, 2023, succeeding long-time director, Jerry Pettinger. "Rick's experience and governance in the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is unmatched. He is well respected for ‘running a tight ship’ and setting high expectations,” said Stephanie Nitchals, senior high principal. “We are very excited to have him join the team.”

A proud alum of Benilde High School’s class of 1970, Johns most recently served as interim athletics director at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. He has more than 20 years of experience in coordinating and leading athletic and activity programs. He also currently serves as executive secretary for Region 4A of the MSHSL. 

“This is a dream come true for me, a real coming home,” Johns said, “To be at BSM allows me to lead an education-based athletics and activities program which compliments and does not compete with academics.”

Johns fondly remembers being on the BSM campus as a student. “The experiences I had here as a student athlete shaped who I am today, inspiring me to major in elementary education and later get my Masters and certification in music, coaching, and athletic administration.”

As BSM’s athletic and activities director, Johns will oversee a program which has grown to 70+ sports and activities in grades 7-12. “No one can replace Jerry, but we believe Rick's background and experience will provide continuity for this next phase in activities and athletics at BSM,” said Nitchals. 

On January 30, 2023, BSM’s long-time director of athletics and activities, Jerry Pettinger, announced that he would be transitioning to a new role as co-director of BSM facilities, effective July 1, 2023. To fill Pettinger’s role, BSM organized a six-person search committee which included representatives from the school’s administration, coaching staff, and parent population.   

Pettinger will support Johns as he begins his new position, working with more than 120 coaches and advisors to sustain the school’s culture of excellence in academics, activities, athletics, and character for every student athlete.

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About Benilde-St. Margaret's School
Benilde-St. Margaret's (BSM) is a Catholic, co-educational private prep school for grades 7–12 located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, that draws its over one thousand students from throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The mission of BSM is to educate, empower, and inspire learners within a Catholic community to lead lives of faith, achieve academic excellence, and contribute meaningfully to a global society.

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