St. John Lutheran School
St. John Lutheran School, Ocala, FL
A conversation with David McFalls, Head of School
Describe your school’s enrollment and marketing situation before you hired Rick Newberry and Enrollment Catalyst:
Our enrollment and marketing plans lacked cohesion and clear strategic direction.
Why did you decide to partner with Rick Newberry and Enrollment Catalyst?
I had heard Rick speak at an ACSI conference a few years ago and was very impressed with his knowledge and experience working with other schools. I spoke to other school leaders who had partnered with Rick and they were all very pleased with his work with their schools.
What were the results of working with Enrollment Catalyst? What were your greatest accomplishments?
St. John Lutheran School experienced 6% enrollment growth this year. This is an increase of 19 students from last year’s enrollment of 343 students to 362 this year.
Rick helped us create clear strategic plans to help improve our enrollment and marketing efforts. I think some of our greatest accomplishments with Rick’s help was revising our marketing strategies. That included a greater emphasis on using social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to market our school. Rick also helped us create an ambassador program to help us improve our word of mouth marketing.
What did you like best about working with Rick Newberry?
Rick is highly professional and very knowledgeable. He freely shares his experience working with hundreds of schools around the country as well as connecting us with other school leaders that can provide us with input and suggestions.
What was the biggest surprise for your team when implementing recommendations from the Enrollment Catalyst Program?
I honestly was not surprised – I knew as the new leader of St. John that we as a school needed to revise and refine our marketing strategies and I knew that Rick was the professional I wanted our school needed to hire.
Were there specific programs from the Enrollment Catalyst Program that generated the biggest impact for your marketing and enrollment efforts?
I think it is still a little early to tell which program will have the greatest impact at our school that Rick suggested. We have implemented phase one of Continuous Enrollment last year and will implement the second phase this spring. We have also implemented an ambassador program, but have only had one event so far (April 2019). We are planning for our second event in September. I believe we need to stay consistent with the practices we have adopted in order to see where the biggest impacts occur in the next couple years.
What would you say to another school leader to recommend Rick Newberry to help them in their enrollment and marketing effort?
I would strongly recommend Rick to any school that has struggled with both enrollment and marketing planning. Rick will help them create a cohesive and strategic plan to implement at their school that I believe if done well, will yield positive results in enrollment growth, admissions practices, and marketing. I would be happy to speak to any school leader who is considering hiring Rick in the future for their school.