Kevin White, the new associate director of advancement at St. Albert Catholic Schools, outside the school on Tuesday.

Kevin White of Council Bluffs has taken on a new role as associate director of advancement at St. Albert Catholic Schools.

White, 51, is best known locally as a longtime member of the sports staff at The Daily Nonpareil and the Omaha World-Herald — most recently as western Iowa sports coordinator. He was an assistant boys basketball coach at St. Albert High School for part of last year.

“I am thrilled and honored to join St. Albert Catholic Schools in a full-time capacity and to be entrusted with this new position,” he said. “I am excited to play a key role in helping St. Albert not only achieve its financial goals but to thrive. It is important that a full, robust Catholic education is available to our community for generations to come, and I’m committing all of my energy to ensure that.”

White will be responsible for all donor relations and engagement efforts, including advancement plans for the school’s annual fund, major gifts, planned giving and capital campaigns. He also helps with marketing materials. His first big job is getting letters ready for the school system’s annual appeal. The letters are to be sent out later this month, he said.

White joins a leadership team assembled last spring as part of a restructuring at St. Albert. Deacon Vernon Dobelmann, executive director, welcomed the opportunity to bring him aboard.

“I am excited to have Kevin join our leadership team at St. Albert as associate director of advancement,” he said. “He is a well-respected professional in our community, and he is passionate about the mission and purpose of St. Albert,” he said.

Although White graduated from Tri-Center High School and Dana College, his late wife, Jill, graduated from Kuemper Catholic School in Carroll before earning a degree at University of Iowa. Their daughter, Bailey, a basketball player, graduated from St. Albert High School last spring, and their son, Carter, is currently a sophomore at the school and participating in football, basketball, tennis and baseball.

“She felt very strongly about Catholic education,” he said. “With my sports writing, I was always impressed with St. Albert, so it wasn’t a hard sell to send our kids there. I’ve just always enjoyed the community feeling of St. Albert.”

In addition, Jill worked as an athletic trainer at the school for Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital for 22 years. She switched to an office job at Jennie a few years before her death so she could spend more time with her family.

“After she died, I kind of felt myself being pulled away from journalism a little bit — and, with Carter still at home, I wanted to get away from the nights and weekends,” White said.

Late this summer, the World-Herald offered buyouts to longtime employees, and White was eligible. In the meantime, the St. Albert Foundation helped provide funds to make the advancement job full-time instead of part-time, he said.

“That kind of all fell together, with the buyout and this becoming a full-time job,” he said. “I’m grateful to the school for showing their faith in me to do this job.”

There is a common basis for reporting and talking to donors, White said.

“Everybody I’ve talked to about this, they’ve said a big part of the job is relationships and building relationships and cultivating them,” he said.

That is not unlike building relationships with sources as a reporter, White said.

White got involved with the freshmen boys basketball team late in the season last year and became freshmen coach when Larry Peterson moved up to varsity. He also helped out with varsity and got to go to the state tournament with the team.

“It was great to be a part of that,” he said. “We upset an undefeated team to get to state, so that was a great experience.”

The varsity assistant coach resigned after last year, so White will take his place this year.

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