Incoming Saint Joseph Notre Dame Principal Father Steve Kim cannot wait to get started on his new job, and if his past is an indication he will infuse the school with a burst of energy and a series of new ideas. He’s already planning on visiting the Alameda campus several times this spring, months before he officially takes on the job on July 1.
“I can’t wait to get started,” Father Kim says. “I’m all in on SJND and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and entire SJND community of students and families.” Father Kim’s appointment was announced on March 31. He will be taking over from Principal Julianne Guevara, who has been at SJND for 17 years, including the past four years as principal. Principal Guevara is staying on through the end of the current academic year.
“I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve as the next principal of Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School,” Father Kim wrote in a message to the SJND community, including parents of current students. “Throughout the interview process, I felt more and more drawn to the community’s warm and welcoming environment. Every time I visited the school, the weather was a little cloudy, but on Chestnut Street I can see the mission of Jesus at work. Also, during my third interview with the faculty, staff, students, and various members of the board and parents, it was clear that everyone cares about the school and wants nothing but the best for our students to be successful and serve the world.”
“Fr. Steve displays a contagious zeal for education, love for students, and dedication to teachers.”
Father Kim brings with him impressive teaching, administrative, and entrepreneurial experience. He has spent the last 10 years on the faculty at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View where he has also served as director of Campus Ministry. He is currently serving as pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in San Jose. He will leave that post to join SJND. Father Kim also serves as chaplain to the San Francisco 49ers.
“I look forward to welcoming Fr. Kim to the SJND community and to partnering with him,” said Fr. Mario Rizzo, parochial administrator of St. Joseph Basilica. “Fr. Steve displays a contagious zeal for education, love for students, and dedication to teachers. Being a teacher himself for many years, I have no doubt that he will provide exceptional support to our faculty. What’s more, his experience as an administrator at St. Francis High School and pastor of St. Leo Parish will enrich our community, as all our principals have done in their own unique way. I wish to thank Principal Julianne Guevara for her many years of service to SJND. It was a privilege to work with her.”
After graduating from Palo Alto High School in 2003, Fr. Kim earned his BA in philosophy and religious studies from Santa Clara University (SCU). He then earned three degrees at Saint Patrick’s Seminary and University, completing his bachelor’s in sacred theology, his master of divinity, and his master’s in theology and theological studies. From there, he returned to SCU for his master’s in educational leadership and administration and then attended the University of Southern California for his doctorate of education in organizational leadership. He was ordained into the priesthood in 2011.
Passionate about Catholic education, Fr. Kim has served as San Jose Bishop Oscar Cantú’s delegate to build the future St. John XXIII high school in Morgan Hill. He also enjoys teaching graduate students in the Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) and Catholic Master of Arts in Teaching (CatMAT) programs at SCU as well as lay leaders in the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (ILM) program at the Diocese of San Jose. He is the founder and president of several non-profits, including Camp Thrive and St. Martin Paving Company.
Father Kim’s appointment is just one of SJND’s exciting recent developments. The SJND Vice Principal Search Committee has just ended the first round of in-person panel interviews. Candidates advancing in the process will next meet with additional members of SJND’s faculty and staff community as well as with student leaders. Looking at a strong pool of internal and external candidates, the school hopes to have its next vice principal on board by mid-May.
With Fr. Kim about to join SJND and a new vice principal soon to be on board, the school is poised for success that builds on the accomplishments of its previous leaders who have left their own indelible marks on the school and its students.