It seemed only fitting when Crowley took over as president of Lake Catholic High School last year. After all, Crowley’s wife Lea is a Lake Catholic graduate as are the couple’s five sons — Kevin, John, Adam, Brian and Michael. Until 2017, Crowley had spent his professional career in business, working for such powerhouse firms as Sherwin-Williams, KeyCorp and National City Bank. And while his time spent in the corporate world was gratifying, he realized there was something more he could accomplish — a chance to connect with the scholastic community his wife and sons had once benefited from.
I thought, professionally, it was time to do something useful — something that gave back in a constructive way. I’m humbled by the fact I had an opportunity to come in and do this. I’m a little late to the party, but I’m happy to be here.
I started in advertising and moved into employee communications. I was always on the business side. After a while, I thought maybe I could use those skills in education. I looked at a number of things in education but I didn’t feel as strong a connection as this one.
Catholic schools in general have gotten more comfortable with the idea of a [school] president, with both the business side and the academic side. As these schools get more competitive, it helps to be able to have a dedicated effort.
I’ve worked for or with some of the great business leaders in Cleveland. You see how invaluable it is to believe in your people and give them direction, freedom and the ability to run with it. That creates a culture that thrives on itself. And that kind of experience is an immediate advantage.
Treating students as the adults they are about to become is such a great way to get them to light up. What’s really cool here is that I see very motivated students who are truly taking advantage of every opportunity. That’s how I remember my high school years.
This is my sophomore year. My first year here was a huge learning curve. The biggest challenge was the mechanics of how a school works. There’s a sense of energy in the building because of the students, and you feed off of that. It’s an interesting thing to feel.
A lot of time it’s simply recognizing you don’t have all the answers. It would be foolish for me to come in and tell people how to do their jobs. The nature of leadership is that you’re constantly learning new ways to approach things.
Faith is really everything here. Our students are surrounded by and engaged with their faith and finding opportunities to serve others really opens their eyes.