Sacred Heart School Appoints New President
Following a prayerful, extensive and thorough search process that yielded four strong and qualified candidates, the St. Vincent de Paul Parish leadership, Sacred Heart School Advisory Council, and the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City are pleased to announce the appointment of Nikki Howell as president.
She will succeed Dr. Mark Register, who will retire from his service as president on June 30.
As president, Howell will serve in an outward-facing role, taking the good news of our school to the broader community. Her primary responsibilities will be to build community relationships, implement and expand strategic plans, and provide business management to ensure the financial stability of Sacred Heart School.
“Our school and parish are blessed with many accomplished, dedicated, and talented individuals,” said Fr. Joe Corel, pastor, St. Vincent de Paul parish. “We give thanks to the Holy Spirit for leading us in our president’s search toward one of our own. Mrs. Howell’s love and enthusiasm for SHS, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and its people, combined with her professional expertise, make her the ideal candidate to partner with us in this next chapter of growth.”
Howell was born and raised in La Monte, Mo. She attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., earning a bachelor’s in communications with an emphasis in journalism. She has spent over 20 years in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, successfully serving in leadership roles focused on financial management, strategic planning, operation vitality, new revenue generators, and building relationships. Her career took her to Minnesota, Texas, and Oklahoma, where she delivered data-driven results for Raycom Media (2001-2006), Griffin Communications (2006-2011), and Brief Media (2011–2016). In 2016 Howell formed her own business as a leadership and media advisor, serving both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Howell returned to the Sedalia area that year to be closer to family.
“Growing up on a farm outside Sedalia, I have always admired Sacred Heart School,” said Howell. “My dad encouraged me to enroll my two kids, so I did. There was an immediate feeling of belonging. My kids were happy and thriving. I appreciated the focus on God while also having high academic standards to which they were held, and I quickly felt a calling to join this wonderful team.”
Howell joined the Sacred Heart School faculty in 2017. She has taught computer science and business classes for the past six years. As Student Council Advisor, she oversaw the construction and launch of the STUCO Gremlin Student Store and Café. As Yearbook advisor, Howell and her teams have earned three national awards for excellence. She also established a communications team and created processes for greater efficiency and effective internal and external content delivery.
“Simply put, the president position is tailor-made for Mrs. Howell,” said Ms. Jane McMullin, a 1987 graduate, SHS Hall of Fame Inductee, and veteran faculty member. “Nikki’s work ethic, collaborative spirit, and unwavering commitment to quality education and student success quickly gained her respect and trust among her colleagues and students. Above all else, Nikki loves her Sacred Heart family, and that certainly is evident in the way that whatever project comes her way, she leaves it better than what she found it. While we hate to lose her in the classroom, I know her heart and abilities are calling her to this new role, and we are excited to watch our school community thrive.”
Mrs. Howell will work closely with finance, development, and the Sacred Heart School Foundation members. She participated in and helped develop the school’s 2017 strategic plan for operational vitality. She said she’s eager to connect with stakeholders to work on measuring progress and updating strategies for long-term success.
“Nikki’s a natural born strategist and leader,” said Kyle Herrick, a 1982 graduate and SHS Foundation president. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on several school and foundation projects, and I’m confident she’s the right leader to guide Sacred Heart through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Nikki is also an active member of St. Vincent de Paul parish.
“I have felt for some time that my calling was to serve the Lord and my community in a bigger way,” said Howell. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my school, my parish, and the community that has become my home.