St. Francis Borgia Regional High School will begin a search for a new principal with the announcement Thursday that Dr. Brad Heger will retire this summer.

Faculty at the co-ed Catholic high school were informed Thursday afternoon and Dr. Heger sent out an email to parents the same day.

In the email, Dr. Heger said the decision to retire was not an easy one to make and something he had discussed at length with his wife and prayed for God’s guidance.

Dr. Heger said he looks forward to spending more time with family, especially his five grandchildren, all of whom arrived during his six years working at Borgia.

He also will be able to lessen his “carbon footprint” considerably with only visits to Borgia instead of the daily commute from Brentwood.

“I have enjoyed my years here, and look forward to continued visits at Borgia events and celebrations,” he wrote in the email.

“Know that each of you has contributed to my growth here at St. Francis,” he added. “I hope that at the same time I have been able to contribute positively in some small way to each of your personal experiences.”

Heger told The Missourian saying goodbye will be hard.

“I will miss an awful lot of people here. It’s such a great place and I’ve loved it,” he said, adding he may pursue some other opportunities in the St. Louis area or start playing a lot more golf.

School President George Wingbermuehle told The Missourian that Dr. Heger will be missed.

“We appreciate all of the hard work Brad has given to us over the last six years,” he said, adding Dr. Heger has been instrumental in strengthening the academic curriculum at the school.

Wingbermuehle said the search for Heger’s replacement will begin immediately.

“The search actually is done outside the school by the St. Louis Archdiocese through the Catholic education office,” he explained. “Once they have some candidates, we will have an internal group from our school interview them.”

The Borgia interview committee will consist of six to eight people with representation from the faculty, parents at large, school board and Wingbermuehle.

“I hope we have some candidates to interview by May 1, and possibly someone in place before July which would make the transition much easier,” Wingbermuehle said. “It’s a very important position to fill.”

Enrollment at Borgia is projected to be 550 students next year.