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The Benilde-St. Margaret’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Danielle Palkert Hermanny (BSM class of 2003) as the new president of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School. The appointment is effective Monday, May 15, 2023.
An alum of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Hermanny comes to BSM from the University of St. Thomas where she has served the University community since 2016, most recently as the associate vice president for Equity Compliance & Title IX Coordinator and teaching a course for first-year students. She previously worked in the Office of the President as General Counsel and special assistant to the president, and was an adjunct instructor of theology at the University of Portland, Portland, OR. Hermanny earned her B.A. degree in English and a minor in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame’s Law School.
“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to return home to BSM,” Hermanny said. “I’m looking forward to working with our dedicated faculty and staff to cultivate a community that fosters belonging, equally values academic rigor and faith exploration, and supports our students in using their gifts and talents to meet the needs of the now and future world.”
Hermanny’s experience as a strategic educational leader stood out for BSM’s presidential search committee. “As an alum of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Danielle shares our commitment to excellence in Catholic education and our charisms,” said Laura Portz, chair of the BSM Board of Directors. “We were extremely impressed with Danielle’s professional experience, her ability to make a positive and lasting impact in educational environments, and her passion for providing the best educational experience for students.”
The appointment of Hermanny concludes a search process which began when Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut stepped down from the presidency to pursue personal business opportunities in July 2022. Since that time, alum Meghan Lind DesLauriers ’99 has served as interim president.
“The BSM community is grateful to Meghan for her contributions over the last year. Her faith-filled leadership, professionalism, and care for the School and community all highlight the qualities we desire for every Red Knight,” Portz said. “Meghan has ensured BSM has remained academically strong, fiscally sound, and well-positioned until the appointment of a permanent president.” DesLauriers will remain on staff until Friday, June 9 ensuring a smooth transition for Hermanny and the BSM community. She will also lead baccalaureate events and commencement exercises for Benilde-St. Margaret’s 49th graduating class on Friday, June 2, 2023.
The Presidential Search Committee was impressed with Hermanny’s vision for BSM, highlighting the balance between a faith-based mindset and a strong educational experience. “Benilde-St. Margaret’s is dedicated to providing an accessible and premier Catholic education for each and every student,” Hermanny said, noting, “We are beyond blessed to have staff and faculty who are second to none, and I look forward to supporting them as they continue to empower and inspire students every day.”
As Hermanny begins her new role at BSM, she will focus on learning the internal operations of the School which enrolls over 1,150 students in grades 7-12 and has thousands of alumni around the world. She will also get to know the 150+ faculty and staff serving in a variety of capacities to help students achieve academic excellence, lead lives of faith, and contribute meaningfully to a global society.
“At BSM we say ‘Once a Red Knight, always a Red Knight.’ I would not be the person I am today without my experience at BSM as a student,” Hermanny said. “Being a part of this community means being a part of something larger than yourself, and it creates a bond with every other Red Knight; past, present, and future.”
“I look forward to connecting with many of these Red Knights, both in and outside of Minnesota, and sharing the stories that unite us. I am humbled to be joining this talented team that helps foster the community for our current students: one that provides them with unmatched opportunities in and out of the classroom as they become the individuals God created them to be, sharing their gifts with the world beyond,” Hermanny said.
The BSM presidential search committee worked with Partners in Mission School Leadership Search Solutions, LLC, a highly regarded external search firm specializing in leaders for Catholic schools. The search process leveraged a variety of resources including the results of a community-wide survey and the insights of representatives from the BSM Board of Directors, parents, alumni, faculty, and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.