As leader of the Catholic high school for 24 years, he presided over an era of growth in students, endowments and college enrollment.
Dick Engler, president of Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul for the past 24 years, announced Wednesday that he will retire in June 2015.
Engler came to the Catholic coeducational high school three years after Cretin and Derham Hall merged. He will assist a transition committee — led by past board chair Teri McCloughan — that will choose his successor.
Under his leadership, enrollment at the school increased from 990 students to 1,315 while maintaining the same average class size, and students enrolling in college increased from 82 percent to 97 percent. Also, advanced placement courses increased during his tenure, with 80 percent of students who took the courses now earning college credit.
Among other accomplishments, student and capital endowments increased from $1.1 million to $30 million, according to a news release.
“After nearly a quarter century of service to CDH, this was not an easy decision for me.” Engler said in his letter to the board. “I love this school and the thousands of student, parents, alums, and friends I have encountered over the years. Retirement will allow Bridget and me to spend more time with each other, our family and especially our four grandchildren. We are looking forward to this time with great anticipation.”
Brothers of the Christian Schools and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet sponsor Cretin-Derham Hall.