A Bittersweet Farewell to a Pillar of the Providence Community

by Elsa Deinema, PAW Writer

After working at Providence Academy for almost 15 years, the beloved Dr. Kevin Ferdinandt is leaving at the end of this school year to be the Headmaster of St. Agnes in St. Paul.


            When congratulated on his new job at St. Agnes, Dr. Ferdinandt humbly replied, “When people say congratulations to me I always have mixed feelings about that.  I feel like I shouldn’t be congratulated for doing what God’s asking me to do.  I just go do it.”

Dr. Ferdinandt was one of the first faculty members to be hired at PA.  “In the beginning, I had heard that there was this school, this start-up Catholic school that wanted to take Catholicism and academics seriously both at the same time.”  At the time, Dr. Ferdinandt had been doing his Ed Specialist degree for a principal’s license in Minnesota.  Looking for an internship, he learned of Dr. Todd Flanders who was starting Providence Academy.  After a meeting with Dr. Flanders, our headmaster quickly became interested in Dr. Ferdinandt.  Dr. Ferdinandt recalled the conversation with Dr. Flanders quickly turned away from an internship to something more substantial. “Kevin, I don’t think I can wait until the fall to give you an internship,” Dr. Flanders said. “ I need your help now getting this whole school up and running.”  As we have all seen, Dr. Flanders could not have made a better choice in hiring Dr. Ferdinandt right away.

There is no doubt that Dr. Ferdinandt has left his mark on Providence, but what will he always remember about our school?  “The people,” Dr. Ferdinandt said.  “I love our administrators, I love our deans in our Upper School, I love our faculty, I love our students and I love our families.  So for me, I’ll miss the people the most.  For me, there’s nothing about Providence without the people.  I’ve always said that I hope that the beauty of what happens inside the building matches the beauty of how the building looks.  For the most part, that’s what happens here and I’m proud to have been a part of that.”

Anyone who has ever had a conversation with Dr. Ferdinandt is fully aware that he is a very devout Catholic and is a great role model to everyone.  Dr. Ferdinandt said, “It’s interesting because I have been praying with the Saints for a lot of years and there is something that is fairly common among the Saints.  One of the things I have learned over the years is for the most part the Saints never cared where they worked, only that they did God’s will.  And I have tried, with all of my life, to somehow imitate that.  And I’ve not always been successful at that, but I’ve tried to imitate that.”

“It’s nothing about Providence, it’s nothing here that I am trying to walk away from or I wouldn’t want my kids to stay.  If that were the case I wouldn’t have my kids stay either, but I want them to stay.  This is a community for my family too.”

There is no doubt that Dr. Ferdinandt has impacted all of us at Providence.  Dr. Ferdinandt helped make Providence the school it is today, and that is one of the many reasons it is so hard to say goodbye.