In a year that has brought so many changes which will be with us moving forward, we are both extremely sad, yet happy (for him) to announce that Dr. Roger Minkle, will be retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Our sadness stems from the absence of Dr. Minkle’s smile, laughter, and dedicated service which he has given to the school and Company of Mary for nearly five decades, but our joy is found in celebrating with him a new chapter of his life as he travels and finds restful time with his family and friends.
Dr. Minkle’s leadership and accomplishments at Saint Jeanne’s are far beyond any attempt to number or quantify. His contributions to developing and managing curricular and extracurricular activities over the years, such as Masses, Lip Sync, Showtime, cheerleading, Lancer Athletics, and the Spring Musical, while being an excellent Spanish teacher, are only a few examples of how he has demonstrated and modeled the Educational Project of the Company of Mary and its mandate to reach each and every child allowing them to feel valued for their individual creativity and ability. Through the various activities and organizations he has developed and directed during his tenure at Saint Jeanne’s, so many students who may not have thought they could, DID, discovering unknown or dormant talents while learning how to extend and challenge their perceived comfort zones well past anything they could have imagined
Dr. Minkle, as an integral part of the administration team, has always paved the way for innovation without losing the foundational aspects that differentiate Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School from every other school in Orange County. As the self proclaimed “Dean of Discipline'', his philosophy of “Demonstrated Grace”, moved students, and adults, past whatever transgression that may have led them to his office with a sincere feeling of restorative hope in the love of Jesus. While some may have felt, over the years, that they had knowledge regarding the “best way” to handle a given circumstance, Dr. Minkle always responded with wisdom rich in experience, perspective and discernment, always pursuing context through active listening and reflecting in prayer and collaboration. These are qualities that will forever live in his legacy as a model educator, administrator and leader.
The Sisters, here in Southern California and worldwide in the Company of Mary, will always recognize and value Dr. Minkle for his devotion to the mission of service and education. Not just a colleague, but a fellow disciple commissioned to bring the good news of the Gospel. Dr. Minkle has been a brother to all of the Sisters and an ambassador for the Company of Mary. He may be retiring physically, but he will never retire spiritually from our school community or the Saint Jeanne Family.
Although we are saddened by this announcement of retirement, we join in celebrating a new chapter in his life. We know that God will continue to use him as a disciple to the Gospel message and know that his influence will forever be in the foundational stones of this beloved and well-established school for many years to come. Although he will be missed, we know that the support, guidance and joy he has brought to all those he has influenced over the years will be what our Savior refers to when He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Given the current protocols that exist, we are unable to provide him with a SJDL Community in-person farewell, but as with so much of the pandemic, this will be for now, not forever. We will plan a proper celebration of SJDL Family and Friends during the 2021-2022 school year, but we would like to encourage everyone to take a moment and share your love and appreciation for this model educator, leader and Christian mentor.
We cannot thank God enough for bringing Dr. Minkle to our school 47 years ago and we know that although his physical presence may not be here among us, his spirit and love will continue to be with us for many, many years to come.