Get to Know: Jeff Ohnoutka from Scotus Central Catholic
Get to Know…
Jeff Ohnoutka from Scotus Central Catholic Jr./Sr. High School in Columbus, Nebraska.
We periodically bring you profiles of the great administrators and educators within our schools, and we think you’ll enjoy getting to know what drives their passion for serving others.
Q. How long have you been a principal and what is your favorite part about the job?
A. I have been the president/principal for three years. I was assistant principal for two years before that. I love when I have time to individually talk to the teachers. It is extremely valuable to hear from them how they think things are going and to hear their ideas. One of my favorite things each day is to greet the students in the hallways before and during school. Without a doubt though, the ten minutes after graduation, when each senior comes to get their diploma from me is the best. To see the joy on their face and to have that last positive encounter with them is an incredible moment.
Q. How would you describe the value of Catholic education?
A. A Catholic education is part of the mission of our Church. It is so important for our young people to have a place to express their faith and have the opportunity to grow in that faith. Many people who say that teenagers are disengaged in their faith must not have spent a great deal of time in a Catholic school. I learn so much from the example being set by our staff and our students each day. That may sound cliche but it is so true. When you look across our Archdiocesan schools and you see the student participation in service projects, the commitment to their academics, dedication to extra curricular activities and involvement in their faith life, it becomes very obvious how valuable that Catholic education is.
Q. What are some ways in which you express your faith at work and at home?
A. I am an EMHC at my parish, St.Bonaventure. I also help take communion to the home bound. I have also come to the realization that it is important for me to evangelize our students. Recently someone suggested I listen to the Every Knee Shall Bow podcasts. They are outstanding and I highly recommend them to anyone involved in Catholic education.
Q. Can you tell us a unique fact about yourself?
A. We have 354 students in our school grades 7-12 and I am pretty sure I know each student’s name. I am also fascinated by the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. There are some great stories about people that didn’t make the history books.
Q. Let’s pretend educators have any spare time. What is your favorite thing to do?
A. I enjoy helping coach my daughter’s fast pitch softball team. I love the competition part of it and the girls are a lot of fun.
Thank you, Jeff. Go Shamrocks!
* * *
Do you have a favorite Mr. Ohnoutka memory? Please share with our office!
Want to know more about Scotus Central Catholic?
Looking for another school in Columbus?