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A Guiding Light at the Orchard Lake Schools


fter four years at the helm as Vice Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools, Tony Koterba announced his

retirement to the campus community and extended his gratitude for all the support he garnered from so many, not

only while serving in this capacity, but also as an alumnus, alumni parent and son of an alumnus.

“I am thankful to have been able to serve the schools that taught my father, John B. (Class of 1943), my sons

Anthony R. (2010) and Andrew M. (2013), and myself (1968),” said Koterba. “All told, the Koterba family name

has been associated with the schools for over 77 years.”

And at a campus that, this year, celebrates its 132nd anniversary since its founding by Fr. Joseph Dabrowski, the

Koterba family legacy is intricately woven into the community’s faith, education, tradition and Polish culture. “My

parents, John and Helen, served as Moms and Dads Club presidents from 1967-68,” added Koterba. “They set the

legacy for me. My dad was also a Founder’s Day committee member from 1967 to his death in 1998, and a Regent

from 1970-74.” From 1985 to the present, Tony has served as a member of the Founder’s Day Committee, and

stepped into the role of chairperson from 1999 to 2001.

As a St. Mary’s Preparatory parent, he and wife, Cathy, took on the role of Prep auction chairs. But during their first

year of leadership, tragedy struck when Cathy became seriously ill and passed away. In the face of such adversity,

Tony continued to serve the Orchard Lake Schools community and carry on his commitment as auction chair for

seven years, helping raise over $1.275 million for the private, Catholic all-boys high school. The Prep went on

to honor Cathy, a talented artist, through the Cathy Koterba Award, an annual scholarship given to two students

deemed St. Mary’s Preparatory’s most deserving artists in their respective fields.

Since 2009, he has also served as Dean of Prep Admissions. Here, he guided students from their middle- to high

school transitions and helped shape the course of their future endeavors and lifelong brotherhood, a strong Eaglet


In the course of his leadership, he also

chaired the SS. Cyril & Methodius

Auction for three years in efforts to help

provide current and future seminarians

with scholarships and other seminary

improvements. As Vice Chancellor, Tony

believed the Orchard Lake Schools legacy

was not just about one institution within

the campus, but about the whole, from

St. Mary’s Preparatory to SS. Cyril &

Methodius Seminary toThe PolishMission,

and the alumni who

attended St. Mary’s College.

“It has been a gratifying experience to

serve in this capacity and to be able to pay

back the institution that helped make me

the man I am today,” emphasized Koterba.

“As a result of my daily visits to the Shrine

Chapel and my devotion to the Rosary and

the Blessed Virgin Mary, my faith has been

greatly strengthened!”

The Koterba Family (2005)