Mr. Michael F. Baber brings his “Cor Unum” philosophy to King Street

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Jackie Franco '23

Mr. Baber takes on the role of president at Sacred Heart Greenwich.

The King Street Chronicle conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Michael F. Baber, who will assume the role of President of Sacred Heart Greenwich July 2022.  Mr. Baber joined the Sacred Heart Greenwich community as an Upper School theology teacher in 2000.  He became Chair of the Theology, Campus Ministry, and Community Service departments in 2001.  In 2003, Sacred Heart Greenwich appointed him Assistant Head of School, a position he held for 12 years.  Mr. Baber then served as interim Head at Schools of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau. Mr. Baber transferred to Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis, Missouri, serving as the Head of School since 2016.  Mr. Baber discussed his return to Sacred Heart Greenwich and his hopes to unite the school community in an effort to become “Cor Unum,” or one heart.  Read the Q&A with junior Jackie Franco, Staff Writer, below.

Mr. Baber speaks with students while visiting Sacred Heart Greenwich April 4. Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

After numerous years as a part of the greater Sacred Heart community, what has inspired you to remain within the Sacred Heart network?

My first introduction was at Sacred Heart Greenwich.  I realized that the wonderful part of being a Sacred Heart student, or a child of the Sacred Heart as it is sometimes called, is that we work really hard to make sure everybody finds their passion and their purpose in life.  Sacred Heart education, I think, really leans into when one finds their passion and their purpose and they are in tandem; the sky is the limit.  For me, as a Sacred Heart educator, I was always enamored with helping students find their voice, a sense of you can do this, you got this, yes, it is difficult, it may be challenging, it may be something new, but let us take the risk together let us support one another in this risk.  You will find your voice, whether it means your actual voice singing in Madrigals, your voice in a newspaper, in broadcast journalism, maybe your voice as an athlete on the field as a leader, it may be environmental science, the community, or serving the greater good of the poor and those who are homeless whatever it is.  I have fallen in love with the Sacred Heart Network because we do it well, and we have been doing it for a long time, so we ought to do it well.  It is a great gift, and I am happy to say I have been a beneficiary of that gift and want to share it with others. 

Sacred Heart education, I think, really leans into when one finds their passion and their purpose and they are in tandem; the sky is the limit.”

— Mr. Michael F. Baber

What are your aspirations as president of Sacred Heart Greenwich?  

I have this expression; it comes from Madeleine Sophie.  In Latin, it is Cor Unum, but in English, it is one heart.  My aspiration is that we will all beat together as one with one heart in the heart of God.  I know we have a Lower School, a Middle School, and an Upper School, and those are great distinctions of both mental and educational focus, but at the end of the day, Sacred Heart Greenwich, we are all one heart.  I aspire to get to know as many people as I can as president and lead us into that experience of what it means to be Cor Unum.

How do you intend to emphasize the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria in your role as president? 

Well, that is our bread and butter, the Goals and Criteria.  It is what we offer the world and what we offer families in partnership as mothers and fathers: it is really everything we do.  It is the lens by which we decide what courses we should offer and teach.  It is the lens by which we decide what the academic experience should be like, ‘Should we go on this trip or that trip?’, ‘Go to serve the poor in downtown New York or should we make sure that our college acceptances reflect the school’s success of a student who has worked really hard and will see her next great step at whatever college that would be for her?’  The Goals and Criteria are our bedrock; they are our foundation and inspiration.  As president, the Goals and Criteria are an awesome gift, and it is our greatest responsibility to be good stewards of them as we move into the future.

The Goals and Criteria are our bedrock; they are our foundation and inspiration.  As president, the Goals and Criteria are an awesome gift, and it is our greatest responsibility to be good stewards of them as we move into the future.”

— Mr. Michael F. Baber

What are your priorities as you enter this new position?

My priority is just to get to know as many people and families as possible.  I have enjoyed 15 years of working at Sacred Heart Greenwich, and I have had great relationships with students, parents, and faculty, yet I have been gone for seven years, so there is a huge amount of families and faculty I do not know yet.  So that is one of my number one priorities is just to make sure I am out and about meeting as many people as I can, reconnecting with legacy families like those who may have been lifers, and welcoming the person who is brand new like I am.  I have the custom and the habit of walking down hallways or in the dining room or on the field of saying ‘hi’ to everybody, and I look forward to doing that in the halls of Sacred Heart Greenwich.

What is something most people do not know about you?

What people do not know about me is that I am a real foodie.  I love finding a great restaurant and putting it on my bucket list.  Sometimes when I travel with family or for work, I keep a running list of restaurants in that city.  Even if I can not find someone to go to this great restaurant with, I will go by myself just to say I have experienced it, but I prefer to go with other people.

The King Street Chronicle thanks Mr. Michael F. Baber for his contributions.

Featured Image by Jackie Franco ’23