Hail To The Chief

Once a Maroon Knight, always a Maroon Knight.

Lawrence E. Bandi of Wheeling was appointed Thursday as the first president of Wheeling Central Catholic High School, according to Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, superintendent of Catholic Schools, made the announcement at a press conference held Thursday at the school.

Bandi, a 1972 graduate, returns to his alma mater July 1 to assume his duties.

“What I learned here at the school has allowed me to become the person I am today. I hope that we are able to continue those traditions in forming the students of tomorrow,” said Bandi, a corporate, civic and educational leader with 26 years’ experience in business.

His responsibilities will include strategic planning; advancing the mission of the school through development, marketing and enrollment initiatives; and maintaining the financial strength of the school.

Prior to proclaiming Bandi as Wheeling Central’s first president, Schmidt spoke about embarking on an aggressive plan to position the school for success. Over the past year, Wheeling Central has gained an academic administrator in Principal Rebecca Sancomb, developed its technological infrastructure and witnessed an increasing student population and interest in admission. With the goal of transitioning to a president-principal model, the school announced last May it would begin a search for president during the 2013-14 academic year.

“The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is pleased to add the next important piece to this puzzle,” Schmidt said. “Larry is charged with bringing the mission of the school to life within the school community and the greater Ohio Valley.”

“I am delighted that Larry Bandi has joined Wheeling Central,” Bransfield said. “His love for Catholic education and his alma mater runs deep, and I am confident he will bring this same energy to our staff, faculty, students and families that he has to his other successful business, civic and philanthropic ventures. I know that, alongside the excellent leadership provided by … Sancomb, Larry will help advance Central’s mission as an outstanding leader in Catholic education and make it even more of a vital resource for our students, our parish communities and the Ohio Valley.”

Sancomb said Bandi will be a great addition to the school. Bandi credited Sancomb and her staff with doing an outstanding job of strengthening Wheeling Central’s financial footing.

Bandi and his wife, Mary Dee Bandi, are residents of Wheeling and have two adult daughters, Erin Carr and Kristina Bandi, and are proud grandparents of Georgia and Charleigh.