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A Red Knight Homecoming
BSM’s new president returns to walk the halls
by Tom Backen, English Teacher and Faculty Representative on Presidential Search Committee
“Once a Red Knight, always a Red Knight” is an expression we often hear repeated in the classrooms and hallways of BSM. That saying was proven true once again when BSM welcomed its next president, Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut, who assumed his new role at the beginning of February. Following an exhaustive search conducted by a board-appointed presidential search committee working in conjunction with Cohen Taylor Executive Search Services, Adam Ehrmantraut was the clear choice to lead BSM in the years ahead.
There’s a certain feeling of destiny about this choice, or a homecoming, if you will. While Ehrmantraut has been a professional educator for almost twenty years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal, he actually began his teaching career at BSM in the late 1990s.
At that time, he was a social studies and business teacher, along with being an assistant hockey coach, adviser to Youth in Government, a dean, and he led mission trips to Guatemala and El Salvador. During his last year at BSM in 2006, Ehrmantraut served as interim principal.
Alums from that era remember Ehrmantraut fondly as shown by quotes such as these posted on Facebook page after he was announced as the new president:
“He truly was one of the best teachers!” —Shannon (Larson) Marek ’05
“I loved Ehrmantraut! He was a great history teacher.” —Katie (Ledin) Harwood ’02
“Boom! I had him as a teacher around 2005 or so. I can still remember his classes. Congrats!” —Andrew Weigman ’06
Though Ehrmantraut went on to become an assistant principal at Minnetonka High School for six years, followed by a four-year stint as principal at Tartan High School in St. Paul, BSM was never far from his heart. “Since 1999, when I began working at BSM, I built a deep professional and personal connection to the school that never dissipated even as I moved to new professional experiences,” says Ehrmantraut. He continued to follow BSM athletics and check the school’s website to see the latest developments at BSM. “The Crown and Shield was still read cover to cover in my home,” he adds.
Ehrmantraut goes on to say, “I believe wholeheartedly in what BSM is doing for its students with its centralized mission built around whole student education, in body, spirit, and mind. To me, that’s a crucial way to look at a strong education plan.” He notes that one of the initial responsibilities for the president is to observe and listen to the way BSM has framed its Benedictine, Sisters of St. Joseph, and LaSallian charisms over the past 43 years.
In addition, the way BSM puts faith into action through service work was a major draw for Ehrmantraut to return to BSM. He points out that, “Catholic identity must always be a part of BSM’s culture, conversations, decisions, and plans. It must be specifically woven into the school’s goals, operations, assessments, and relationships. In essence, BSM’s Catholic identity must be lived daily.”
Dr. Ehrmantraut also believes that the president of BSM must be extremely visible in the various settings that support whole student education. He fully intends to “be present in classrooms and at functions that celebrate academic success, to be visible at a variety of extracurricular events (football, dance, speech, etc.), and to participate actively at masses, prayer services, and retreats.”
In 2015, Ehrmantraut was recognized as one of the Minnesota Principals of the Year based on the progress at Tartan High School. He brings that same drive and striving for excellence to his position as president of BSM. He observes that, “BSM’s president must lead the school’s strategic vision to specifically address rigorous and relevant 21st century academics, service, faith development, and extracurricular experiences.” When interviewed by the Knight Errant on his first day on the job, Dr. Ehrmantraut told student reporters that “[My goal is] to continue to push the school forward and make sure the students’ experiences get better and better over time. [I will] make sure that all the financials of the school are in great shape so generations to come can enjoy this experience.”
Ehrmantraut earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, and his doctorate from Saint Mary’s University. He currently lives in St. Paul with his wife Mary-Megan and three children: James (10), Sophia (7), and Sadie (6). His children are already eager to become Red Knights.
Finally, Dr. Ehrmantraut feels truly invigorated and excited about leading BSM at this important time in the school’s history, and he, too, acknowledges this sense of homecoming. He says, “When I began at BSM in 1999, I was part of this mission and felt completely ‘home’ working with students, parents, families, and colleagues. It was a place where families were welcomed whether they were multi-generational or new to the school. Students were pushed across a wide breadth of opportunities to develop their ‘real’ selves, and there was a true sense of vocation among the faculty and staff.”
We say, “Welcome home, Dr. Ehrmantraut! It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.”