Baum comes to Rockhurst, Kansas Citys only Jesuit college preparatory school, after six years as principal of Illinois Loyola Academythe countrys largest Jesuit high school with 2,000 students. He is credited with developing Loyolas learning enhancement center for students with diagnosed learning disabilities.
"The opportunity to lead Rockhurst High School is a tremendous honor," Baum says. "The school has a wonderful reputation across the nation. I look forward to working with everyone affiliated with the institution to continue to advance Rockhurst's exemplary tradition and further distinguish our students as the future leaders of Kansas City and the country."
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Baum was ordained in 1981 after receiving a Master of Divinity degree with distinction from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. Among his other credentials are a masters degree in educational administration and supervision from Fordham University and a certificate from the Jesuit Secondary School Association Administrators Program.
He began his career as a chemistry teacher, tennis coach, liturgy director and graphic arts club moderator at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
He then moved on to serve as assistant principal for academic affairs at New York Citys St. Xavier High School. Five years later, he was appointed to headmaster at St. Xavier, where he introduced a Kairos retreat program, implemented a program of faculty supervision, and created a seminar for younger teachers. He also was a member of the New York Province (Jesuits) Secondary Education Planning Board, a trustee both of the citys Nativity Mission Center and of Loyola and Regis high schools, and chair of the Manhattan Catholic High Schools Principals Association. After six years as headmaster, he headed back to Chicago to fill Loyolas principal position.
Baum is currently a board member of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association and a member both of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Baum assumes presidential duties at Rockhurst in February.
"We are most fortunate to have someone of the depth and expertise in Jesuit secondary education as Fr. Baum, says David Laughlin, principal at Rockhurst. He is nationally recognized for his work in Jesuit education.