By Joanna Cortes
Randall Rentner grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is a product of public schools.
He is also a priest at Corpus Christi Church across 121st Street from Teachers College. In his first year here, he was part of the Klingenstein Program for Private School Leadership under the direction of Pearl Kane. He also taught at Rice High School, in Harlem, New York for a semester. Rice High School is an all-male Christian Brothers school serving African American and Latino boys from the Harlem community. Randall also sings in the TC chorus under the direction of Dino Anagnost.
Randall has completed the course work and certification for his doctoral degree. His doctoral studies here at TC have specialized in Educational Administration, within the Department of Organization and Leadership. Randall graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1984, with a B.A. in English, whereupon he entered the seminary, earning a master's of divinity degree. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1990. Randall has also earned his master's of education in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University in Chicago. Randall was an assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Notre Dame University from 1998-2000, and was responsible for the Student Center, the Alumni-Senior Club, and oversight of three musical groups.
Prior to serving as assistant vice president of student affairs at Notre Dame University, he taught English and religion at the Notre Dame high school for boys. In 1992, Randall received the Educator of the Month Award from Lerner Life Publishers for his work on school musicals, revitalizing the National Honor Society group, and his work with lower-level students.
Before his ordination, Randall lived and worked among the poor in Mexico for two summers. His experiences as a hospital chaplain, a religious education teacher, assistant rector in a men's residence hall, and a member of the campus ministry all have helped Randall to hone the skills necessary for his career in educational administration.
Randall's long term goal is to work at the university level within administration. Randall believes that the impact that one can have on the lives of college-age students is immeasurable, especially at places like Catholic universities, where life values and decision-making are so closely tied together with one's education. "As a Catholic priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross, I intend to work in Holy Cross sponsored schools, like the University of Notre Dame, the University of Portland, Stonehill College in Massachusetts, King's College in Wilkes-Barre, or St. Edward's University in Austin."
Randall chose Teachers College because it is a "highly ranked school of education, with an impressive reputation, located in the most exciting city in the world."
Randall believes that TC has helped to shape him as an educator, and has helped to shape his educational philosophy. "I think TC has focused my interests in education. It has given me the confidence to establish some strong convictions about the problems that face American public education today in our inner cities. The promise of "equal opportunity" has too often fallen flat, and it falls upon each of our shoulders to do what we can to level the playing field for children of
all socio-economic backgrounds."