Fr. Chris Michelson named special consultant to Knoxville Catholic High School

By Jim Wogan

Father Chris Michelson, pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish and president of St. Joseph School in Knoxville, has been given additional duties by Bishop Richard F. Stika.

Father Michelson was appointed as special consultant to the president of Knoxville Catholic High School on Nov. 15, the feast day of St. Albert the Great.

The move formalizes Father Michelson’s past involvement with KCHS, dating back to the purchase of property in West Knoxville that eventually led to the construction of the high school there in the early 2000s.

“Father Chris and I have always had a great friendship and working relationship. He has always been familiar with the financial side of the school,” said Dickie Sompayrac, president of Knoxville Catholic High School.

“In 2006, we started a campaign to add classrooms, enhance the sports complex, and increase our endowment, and we worked together. That was a good experience for me and really the beginning of the transformation of my role as a traditional principal who is the instructional leader of a school to now being a president looking out for the long-term vision of the school,” Mr. Sompayrac noted.

Father Michelson will continue in his role as pastor at St. Albert and president of St. Joseph School and looks forward to continuing his relationship with KCHS in a formal way.

“I have been involved in the (new) school every step of the way and my fondest desire is to complete the original concept of Knoxville Catholic High School,” Father Michelson said.

“That concept included an auditorium, which is now being built, a new gym, and very importantly, endowing the school so that it is taken care of financially into the future, especially when it comes to making it affordable for every Catholic family. That is one of the things we have to get to,” he added.

In making the formal appointment, Bishop Stika said he is grateful for Father Michelson’s service to Knoxville Catholic over the years and thanked him for continuing his ministry and service at St. Joseph School.

“Your leadership and wisdom have proved to be very fruitful, demonstrated by higher student enrollment, financial stability, the hiring of respected and effective leaders, and facility expansion at both schools,” Bishop Stika said in his letter to Father Michelson.

“I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of your efforts and leadership,” the bishop added.

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