November 15, 2017
To: Students, parents, faculty, staff, alums and friends
From: Tamiko Armstead, President Cardinal Ritter Prep
RE: Retirement of Michael Blackshear
Mr. Blackshear's most important educational truism has been, "Students care how much you know, when they know
how much you care." And how he has shown he cares! It will be hard to imagine Cardinal Ritter College Prep
without Michael Blackshear. He recently shared that he will retire at the end of this school year.
When I was a freshman, he was my dean (always fining me for chewing gum!). Fast forward many years later, he
was principal when I joined Ritter's administration. Since then, most of what I know about the educational side of
schools has come from his leadership. Sure, this includes the mechanics - curriculum, calendars, discipline, college
preparation, counseling, classroom management strategies, higher order thinking skills in instruction, etc. and
generally making this high school operate. With that being said, what is at the core of what he does is ask "what is
best for the student?" This is among the many reasons he's served as a great role model for me and countless others
Over the past couple of years, he's thrown hints of retiring, but I have selfishly asked him not to talk about it with me
because I was avoiding the inevitable. And here we are! Imagine giving over 30 years to changing the lives of kids
and having a reward of retirement that could include traveling, fishing, spending time with family and waking up on
some days with absolutely no agenda! This is what we all hope for. So, please join me in the biggest congratulations
to Michael Blackshear and the biggest thank you to him for his lifelong dedication to kids and his undying love to the
mission of Cardinal Ritter College Prep!!
How will this impact the current school year?
- Nothing will change for the 2017-18 school year. He is as committed now as he was before this decision. He
is still our principal and will be until the end of the school year.
Who will be principal next school year?
- We will conduct a national search for a new principal immediately. We will solicit feedback from students,
parents and alums. The new principal must embody the mission of Ritter. Mr. Blackshear will be included in
the entire selection process.
How will we honor Mr. Blackshear's service?
- Of course, there will be a celebration (and many stories to share)! Details on this will be forthcoming.
May I congratulate him before the celebration?