September 26th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: St. Paul

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: St. Paul
photo from St. Paul School

Roberts has same goals of excellence this year

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to

With a local, former Catholic school student athlete leading the way as the Raiders’ Athletic Director, Ken Roberts says he’s excited about the athletics underway at St. Paul.

“We have the same goals every year. We want the kids to do the best they can do on the court, and act the best they can off the court. We want to make them great adults. If they win city championships, that’s great, but it’s not the top priority,” said Roberts.

Roberts, who grew up at St. Martha Grade School and St. Xavier High School, says his love for assisting in athletics is driven primarily from his kids’ participation in sports.

“I have three kids, and I wanted to have a volunteer role at the parish. I started with the committee, and I’m now in my fourth year as athletic director,” said Roberts. “Athletics is one of the bigger programs at St. Paul that teaches the kids a way outside of the classroom to work as a team, help one another, and learn to work together. Sports help you become a better person in general. Athletics also help some of the kids who aren’t as social to build better social skills in athletics and within school. “

Roberts says he has had many goals for the athletic department over the years, but one of his biggest successes up to this point as AD has been implementing the use of technology for his teams.

“We want to use technology to our benefit. The school itself is really focusing on technology. So, we added signups and information online, and the system has worked well. Parents and visitors to the site can also have instant access to me or other members on the committee from contact
information online.”

As a small parish school with an enrollment of 180-190 students, Roberts says he loves watching the athletes go on after grade school to accomplish even more in their sports.

“Considering the size of the school, it’s amazing to watch our kids who go onto high school and do well in the sports,” said Roberts.

As a small institution, St. Paul works with Notre Dame Academy to create opportunities for sports teams for grades K-8. While St. Paul does offer a great gym, according to Roberts, there is still a need for outdoor field space creation, and that may be generated in years down the road, but not in the near future.

“The sports we do at St. Paul solely as a parish are volleyball, basketball and girls softball. For individual sports, we do on our own, but other team sports are done with Notre Dame Academy because of our size. We’ve had great success over the years in basketball. That’s where we have the most participation, and we’ve been blessed with good coaches. We’ve won many city championships considering the size of the school.”

And Roberts says for the younger grades, the parish gets grades K-2 involved when possible.

“We have intramural basketball for grades kindergarten through second grade. We teach the kids the basics, and each grade they move up they learn a little more. As they go, they build a love for sports,” said Roberts.

As athletic director, Roberts says he is thrilled with the funding efforts for the school to help grow the sports teams.

“Our fundraising is excellent. We have a couple major fundraisers each year, and the turnout is excellent. We also get good turnout with our volleyball and basketball games. Because of that, the cost for student to participate is minimal, and it’s probably the least expensive in Archdiocese. We have a one time fee ($50) and the child can play any sport,” said Roberts.

With good parent involvement when needed, according to Roberts, he tries to work with his athletic committee and volunteers to reinforce positive characteristics into the student athletes.

“We try to reinforce what they are taught in school and church. We stress that and teamwork. You can’t succeed on your own. Everyone needs help at some point. So, our teams, parish, and school all on same page,” said Roberts.

And when he receives comments after games from other parents and teams, he likes to think those St. Paul teaching tools of building character are continuing year to year - including this current one.

Said Roberts: “I’ve gotten comments from other parishes, and I’m most proud when they talk about our players’ great sportsmanship. We are teaching them the right way. It’s nice when you get those compliments.”

For past editions of "Elementary Excellence," visit:


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