St. Xavier names new president

Paul D. Colistra

St. Xavier High School’s board of directors has appointed Paul D. Colistra as the school’s third president.

Colistra comes to St. Xavier after eight years at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, where he has served as president since 2016. He will begin his tenure as president at St. Xavier on July 1.

While at West Catholic Prep, he led a “total transformation of a once struggling school to a thriving inner-city high school recognized for its diversity and rigorous academic program,” said a news release from St. Xavier.

Prior to West Catholic Prep, Colistra served in the administration of La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, Pa.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ithaca College and a master’s in educational leadership from St. Joseph’s University, according to the website of West Catholic Prep.

Kevin Smith, chair of the St. Xavier board of directors, said the board is “impressed by Paul’s commitment to our school’s mission, appreciation of the importance of our Catholic identity and Xaverian values to our community, and proven dedication to academic excellence.”

“We are confident Paul has the vision, leadership experience and strategic acumen that we were seeking in the next president. Paul is prepared to lead our 155-year-old school well into the future,” he said.

Colistra succeeds Dr. Perry E. Sangalli, who led St. Xavier for 19 years until his death in May 2019.

“With deep gratitude and great excitement, my family and I look forward to building our lives in Louisville and supporting this historic school in its mission,” Colistra said.

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