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Benilde-St. Margaret names new president

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Benilde-St. Margaret has selected Kevin Gyolai, Inver Hills Community College dean of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as the school's next president.

On Thursday, the school's board of directors announced Gyolai would replace Bob Tift, who is resigning, according to a release on the school's website. The school says Gyolai possesses the key personal attributes, professional qualifications and management skills required of their next president.

In an introductory video posted by the school's newspaper on YouTube, Gyolai said he's at Benilde-St. Margaret for the long haul – it may be the last full-time job he'll ever have.

“I have a great affinity for people and institutions that are mission-focused, innovative and ambitious, and I welcome the opportunity to lead a Catholic school that has a remarkable history of providing students with a solid foundation – body, spirit and mind – on which to build their futures,” Gyolai said, according to the school's release. “I am honored to have been chosen for this role.”

Gyolai will start as president on July 1 for the 2014-2015 school year.

In addition to his position as STEM division dean, he has held numerous positions at schools in North Dakota, is a published author, and serves on program evaluation teams for the National Science Foundation, the Star Tribune reports.

“In his position as STEM division dean, Dr. Gyolai has had success in fundraising and has been instrumental in leading student recruitment efforts, including developing initiatives to engage students from underrepresented groups. All necessary skills for a Catholic secondary school president," Barb Melsen, chairwoman of the presidential search committee, told the Star Tribune.

He has a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from North Dakota State University – Fargo, a Master of Science degree in biology from South Dakota State University – Brookings, and Bachelors of Science degrees in biology and athletic training from North Dakota State University – Fargo, Benilde-St. Margaret says.

Gyolai, a native of North Dakota, is married to Kristine Gyolai, an art history instructor with MnSCU. They have four children and live in Eagan, the school says.

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