The Beat

The Beat

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“You are amazing girls and young women with an enthusiasm for learning that energizes all of us every day.” – Olen Kalkus


Olen Kalkus became the Headmaster of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in 2015 and was Carrollton’s first lay head of school and headmaster since all previous heads were RSCJs. Before joining the Carrollton community, Mr. Kalkus was the founding headmaster of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, NJ. in the fall of 1999. Princeton Academy started off with only 34 students; by 2015, the school had over 230 students and was accredited by the Sacred Heart Network. Princeton Academy is an all boys private school and Mr. Kalkus helped create an appropriate and successful learning environment. Prior to that, Mr. Kalkus served as head of the Upper School in the International School of Prague, Czech Republic from 1994 to 1999. From 1992 to 1994 he was the Dean of Students, a Math Teacher, AP Psych and Leadership Skills Instructor, and Varsity Soccer Coach at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs. He has also held positions at St. Scholastica School in Canon City, CO; Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, RI; Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ; Bishop Feehan H.S in Attleboro, MA; and Salve Regina College in Newport, RI. 

One of Mr. Kalkus’ favorite Carrollton activities was interacting with students. “I love reading to the younger girls, and feel I never did that enough during my time here. It worked best when Mrs. Kalkus was the library assistant, she made sure to schedule me to read to the Montessori and Primary. This year was the first in a while, that I did not teach a class and interact directly with students, and I could feel the difference….Not having enough time to do all that I would have liked to do. In my almost 40 years as an administrator, I have seen educational leadership change. Carrollton is a large school by the independent school standards I am used to. Just reviewing and replying to hundreds of emails a day limits the amount of time that one can spend with students and teachers.” 

Mr. Kalkus has been an administrator for almost 40 years, and shows a deep respect and love for all things education and teaching. He served as Carrollton headmaster for seven years and is ready to start a new chapter in his life. “I will take some time off to catch up with my family, and then I hope to go back into the classroom for a few years. It has always been my plan to end my career in education where it began – as a teacher/coach. The most important activity that goes on in any school is the education/formation of students. It happens in many ways, but it is based on having a strong relationship with students. I am looking forward to getting back to that essential.”

There are so many amazing memories that Mr. Kalkus has made at Carrollton but the most meaningful to him are the relationships. “There are so many, I could not choose a most meaningful one. But the most meaningful all have to do with interactions with others: relationships. Whether during athletic contests, science expositions, air shows, performances, meetings with faculty, administrators, staff, parents, or long conversations with Fr. Vallee that touched on theology, philosophy, psychology, and literature.” 

All of us at Carrollton wish Mr. Kalkus the best in his new chapter of life and we hope that he will keep creating amazing memories with new students wherever life leads him. Mrs. Gillingham will be our new Headmistress next year and here are a few words of advice that Mr. Kalkus left for her, “I don’t think she needs any, and you know what they say about unsolicited advice. Still, here goes: 

  • Practice patience and the Sacred Heart way when making important decisions (Pause, Reflect, Discern, Decide, and Act). The directions are all in the Goals and Criteria.
  • Maintain and grow old, and build new, relationships. Avoid the “echo chamber.” 
  • Remember, as the painted sign outside my office says: Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”



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