Thursday, April 18, 2019
Erin Michelle Herbert - Cardinal Gibbons HS
FORT LAUDERDALE | Cardinal Gibbons High School Principal Paul D. Ott has announced his retirement from the school in Fort Lauderdale after 48 years of service. Ott, who attended Cardinal Gibbons and graduated in 1966, will officially retire June 30, following the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.
During his 48-year tenure at Cardinal Gibbons, Ott served as a teacher, student activities director, assistant principal and principal. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English, Ott returned to Cardinal Gibbons where he began teaching English. While teaching, he also served as student activities director, planning student engagement events such as pep rallies and the annual Homecoming Dance.
After 23 years in the classroom, Ott was promoted to assistant principal in 1994. Following the retirement of former principal, Father Joseph J. Kershner, Ott was named the fourth principal of Cardinal Gibbons on July 1, 2003.
Ott has been an instrumental figure in the advancement and physical expansion of the high school over the past decade. Under Ott’s direction, two academic wings —Gibbons Hall and C-wing— were redesigned and a Technology Center, gymnasium lobby, expanded cafeteria and athletic fieldhouse were added to the campus. Ott’s leadership was also crucial in several athletic advancement efforts around campus, including the installation of a synthetic multi-use turf field and rubberized track, as well as lights for the football field.
“Paul has changed the lives of so very many of us; there are no adequate words to describe the gratitude that I, as well as so many others, feel for his guidance and wisdom and for making us believe in ourselves enough to take the risk at trying to succeed,” said W. Grey Marker, II, a Gibbons graduate and CEO of Marker Construction Group.
The Archdiocese of Miami is currently conducting a search to select a replacement for Ott; the search is expected to be completed prior to Ott’s official retirement date.