HAMMOND | The Diocese of Gary has appointed Craig Stafford of Chesterton as principal at Bishop Noll Institute. The hiring was announced Thursday by Dr. Barbara O’Block, superintendent for diocesan schools, after the Most Rev. Dale Melczek, bishop of Gary, accepted the recommendation of the BNI Board of Specified Jurisdiction.
Stafford, a graduate of Catholic diocesan schools, served the past year as assistant principal at Chesterton High School. Previously, he served as principal at Chesterton Middle School
“Mr. Stafford shows a commitment to Catholic values and life-long learning, and I am confident he will lead Bishop Noll in a collaborative, collegial style,” O’Block said. “His energy and passion for the work of education characterizes a leader who will move from vision to strategy and implementation. I am sure all of Bishop Noll’s stakeholders will find Mr. Stafford to be approachable, engaged and committed to Bishop Noll’s success.”
Currently a doctoral student at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., Stafford earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in Muncie and a master’s from Indiana University Northwest in Gary. He said he is committed to upholding the Catholic values and traditions at Bishop Noll and providing an educational environment where all students, families and employees are valued and respected.
"I am humbled and excited to become a part of the Bishop Noll family,” Stafford said. “Bishop Noll is a storied institution and a premier high school in the region. As principal, I look forward to working with all members of our educational community to ensure that our students receive an optimal educational experience."
Stafford, 39, and his family are parishioners at St. Ann of the Dunes Church in Beverly Shores.
Michael Whelan, president of Bishop Noll’s volunteer board of directors, said Stafford will take the lead in the continuous improvement of academic excellence at Bishop Noll – efforts that have been recognized this year with Four-Star school status from the Indiana Department of Education and accreditation by AdvancED, the international leader in examining how schools work to meet the needs of students.
“On behalf of the entire Bishop Noll family, I am pleased to welcome Mr. Stafford and his family,” Whelan said. “We are excited to have Craig step in and provide the leadership that will allow Bishop Noll to continue its mission. Craig’s energy and strong work ethic will ensure that Bishop Noll Institute continues to be the premier college preparatory school in Northwest Indiana. As we continue to improve our facilities and grow enrollment, Mr. Stafford will work closely with our board to shape the future of Bishop Noll Institute.”