Meet the Principal – Steve Dole
Lourdes Academy Principal, Steve Dole, is a new dad, but don’t let his youthful looks deceive you. He’s got a big resume. Dole has been a:
· Classroom teacher for eight years at a Catholic military school
· Volunteer fire department Captain
· Veteran of the Air Force Reserves
· Graduate of the Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame
Steve Dole has been the principal at Lourdes Academy for the last four years. He focuses on inspiring the students to excel academically and serve others. Dole is committed to Catholic education. He attended Catholic school as a child and his entire college was at Catholic institutions.
“Catholic Education instilled a love of service to others,” said Dole. “Kids are capable of so much more than you think. They are ready to serve and help others if provided opportunities and encouragement. We see it every day at Lourdes Academy.”
Dole has a long track record of serving others. It began by joining the Air Force Reserves to serve our country and then becoming a volunteer Firefighter in his hometown of Albany, New York.
“Being a part of the fire department as a volunteer Captain helped me learn about leadership,” says Dole. “I had the opportunity to mentor some 18- and 19-year-old teens and show them how meaningful our work can be. It made a huge impact on my life knowing that I was helping the community in which I lived.”
Service is a big component of student life at Lourdes Academy. Every middle school student has required service hours to complete outside of school hours. Even from Pre-K to fifth grade, students have in-school volunteer opportunities to help others by doing service projects.
The Notre Dame Connection
Through various programs like the Alliance for Catholic Education, the University of Notre Dame has committed to supporting Catholic education at the primary education level. As part of his education, Dole graduated from the Remick Leadership Program at Notre Dame. It is a program to support Catholic school principals and leaders and guide them in building robust Catholic school communities.
“The Remick Leadership Program at Notre Dame prepared me to take on the role of principal at a Catholic school like no other,” said Dole. “I still keep in contact with the cohort group I did my graduate work with and they still give me inspiration and ideas to bring back to Lourdes Academy to be successful.”
Building Character Through Sports
One of the unique features of Lourdes Academy is the opportunity for grade school students to participate in many sports. The Catholic Diocese of Orlando participates in Catholic Youth Sports. Catholic Youth Sports (CYS) is a league of elementary and grade school students who can choose to play soccer, flag football, basketball, run track and more. The CYS league is an extra-curricular activity for Lourdes Academy students that teaches character building within a team, provides exercise and teaches the fundamentals of sports.
“I’m a big believer in sports,” says Dole. “Having sports available to our students is a huge bonus over other public schools. We promote and encourage our sports programs, and you can tell – we have more than 170 students participating in at least one sport at Lourdes Academy.
Steve, his wife Monica, and their daughter Callie are active parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
“Being part of this Catholic community has been a great joy for our family,” recalls Dole. “It’s not quite like any other Catholic church I’ve been a part of, but that’s the point. The community has welcomed us not just to lead the school, but into the church family as well.”
If you would like to meet Steve Dole, come take a tour of Lourdes Academy. Click to schedule your tour.