Dean of Students Ray Moland '96 (Bellwood) played football on a semi-final team, wrestled and threw shot put in high school. He also was in Math Club.
What is your educational background?
RM: Like many other faculty here, I am also a Fenwick Friar. I graduated in 1996. I then attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where I received my bachelor’s in elementary education. After teaching for a few years, I continued my education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, where I completed two master’s degrees. I received a M.A. in teaching and learning with an emphasis in differentiated instruction; and a master’s in educational leadership with my principal’s endorsement. I then decided to continue my education at Aurora University, where I began my doctoral studies. This is where I am currently. I have decided that I don’t currently want to pursue being a superintendent, so my dissertation process is on hold. I am currently researching to finish my doctorate with a different concentration that will focus more on educational consulting and school board development.
What did you do prior to coming back to Fenwick?
RM: Before Fenwick, my experience consisted of many different roles in the public school system. I have done everything from teaching elementary and middle school to being a dean of students/academic advisor, and an assistant principal – all at the elementary/middle school levels. I have run mentoring programs, student development programs, after-school tutoring services and been an assistant and head coach of basketball, track, wrestling and softball.
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
RM: I have a seven-year-old daughter at home who I do read with frequently. I have just introduced her to Harry Potter and Star Wars, so we read several different print versions of those stories. Reading and doing things with her are pure enjoyment for me. Personally, I just started reading 100 Questions Black People Should Ask Themselves: A Candid Conversation by John Hall and J.D. Smith. John Hall was a friend that attended Fenwick when I did.
What interests do you pursue outside of work/school?
RM: Outside of Fenwick, I am still very driven in the field of education. I serve on two school boards. One school board is in the public school system. The second is a Catholic school in Romeoville, where I am the board president. I recently stepped into a role of consulting to assist a local school board in rebranding their school and development of its board members.
To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
RM: As a student, I was a three-sport athlete for all four of my years at Fenwick. I was in football, wrestling and track & field.
Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?
RM: I have coached football on the sophomore level for five years. I previously coached bowling and track & field. I am the moderator of the Black Student Union, and I am the moderator for the Fenwick Weight Training and Fitness Club.
What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?
RM: Fenwick students are very driven for success! The best of our Friars also find themselves on a path to address areas of social structures and making the world a better place. Of course, this is my humble opinion.
When did you decide to work in education, and why did you choose this field?
RM: My interest in education began with my service project while attending Fenwick. I spent many hours volunteering at a local daycare and child-service facility.
What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in dealing with students?
RM: I like children! I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be a high school student. I have studied many of the issues kids face today. I pay close attention to the changing social structures that kids have to confront. In addition, I like boundaries to be established. I keep these things in mind while being the Senior Dean of Students and addressing/ improving/ implementing policy for the Dean’s Office to operate.
What is the favorite part of your job?
RM: The best part is watching students develop into young adults. Along the way, you create bonds with many students. It’s a joy to see them walk the [graduation] stage and begin the adventure of who they want to be.
What is the greatest success you have had as Dean of Students?
RM: Getting some students to see me as a resource, an asset and an ally in their journeys.
What challenges face students today?
RM: Students today are faced with a world that is more selfish, more driven by money, fame and power in its many forms. They will be challenged with holding on to the principles developed by their faith while they navigate this world and not corrupt the person they want to introduce into society and present to the world.