On Friday, April 29, news broke among the student body that current social studies teacher, Rodney Takacs and former theology teacher Rev. Jim Murphy, C.S.B. had been named as the administrative successors to current Dean of Students Tim Clarkson and Rev. Bob Glass, C.S.B.
While this news came as a surprise to most, much of the student body was very excited by the move. Takacs is well known amongst the student body for developing a very close relationship to his students.
Takacs has high goals for each student and himself . “I want to ensure that this office works with the teachers, students and parents,” Takacs said. “I have always found joy at St. Thomas and I want to be able to attend to each of these groups.” His expectations are that “I continue to have a good relationship with all of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis and my colleagues and I continue to have a good relationship also.”
While he is assuming an administrative post away from the classroom, Takacs will not be completely separated from his students. “I’m going to be fortunate enough to teach one class: Legal Studies and I hope it still allows me to know what happens in the classroom and keep a strong relationship with the studies. It will also be a good break for me.” Takacs began teaching the relatively new and unknown course this year and has enjoyed great success in getting his senior students to think critically about questions of constitutional law.
One of the most controversial topics Takacs’ new job will deal with is dress code. When asked about the possibility of it changing Takacs stated:
“I’m not making any comment just yet on policy changes [about dress code] until I have examined them and gotten input from the different groups of the school and then try to come to a conclusion before the beginning of next year.”
-Rodney Takacs, Dean of Students
But critically, Takacs and Murphy already understand the purpose behind their role, which will assist them well when beginning their work. Both Takacs and Murphy are some of the most beloved teachers around the school. “The Dean’s office isn’t about punishment. It’s about discipline and helping keep order in the school.”
Murphy took a leave of absence this last year to get his Master’s degree at Boston College. “Boston College has been a blessing for me,” Murphy said. “Studying Educational Leadership, I have worked with educators from all areas; public and private schools, urban, suburban, and rural schools, schools in US, Canada, Europe, Africa.”
While he was in Houston, participated in many things, such as broadcasting football games and assistant directing plays.
“He [Mr. Takacs] has a wealth of experience, not only at St. Thomas, but outside our walls as well. He understands the challenges that incoming freshmen bring, but also the pressures facing graduating seniors. He already has a great reputation as a model teacher and administrator.”
-Rev. Jim Murphy, C.S.B.
Recently, Takacs has been “learning the ropes” in the last couple of weeks, with current Dean of Students Clarkson letting Takacs attend to some of his future duties. These duties include walking around during fire drills to see if any students are unaccounted for, or even just getting to know each student and who they are. Takacs is very excited to have a bigger part in each “Man of St. Thomas’” life. His number one priority is to help each student live up to their potentially in all aspects of life.
Most students are excited to have him as the new dean, but a few students may not know who he is. If you are one of those students who does not know him, have someone who does introduce you.