Changes in leadership underway at St. John’s Prep

Katie Bergstrom

St. John’s Prep School in Collegeville has named Katie Bergstrom as the interim principal for the 2018-19 academic year. She succeeds Pamela McCarthy, who served as principal for two years.

Bergstrom is a 1983 graduate of the prep school and served as the chair of the St. John’s Prep board of regents for several years. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a doctor of law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Bergstrom spent 26 years as a trial lawyer in private practice.

“I have such a passion for this place,” Bergstrom said about the prep school. “It is a privilege that I get to serve as interim principal. We’ve had a great start to the year.”

Headmaster to retire

St. John’s Prep Headmaster Benedictine Father Jonathan Licari announced that he will retire from his role with the school in June 2019.

Father Jonathan Licari

Father Licari has served as headmaster since the summer of 2013. He led the school in establishing and implementing a five-year strategic plan.
“I’ve worked hard with my colleagues to steer this school on a strong course as we embark on year two of implementing our strategic plan. I am confident the next head of school will be able to take the helm and continue the journey we’ve charted together,” Father Licari said in a recent release from the school.

At its September meeting, the board of regents voted to begin a search for a head of school immediately with a goal to have a new leader in place for the 2019-2020 school year.

The board also recommended that a permanent principal be selected under the direction of the next head of school. Bergstrom will remain in the interim role of principal throughout the search processes for a head of school and principal.

One of Bergstrom’s immediate goals is to implement a Benedictine values program.

She said it’s important “because we don’t want to lose our Benedictine identity, especially as we are faced with the possibility of transitioning to a lay head of school.”

The program includes an increased focus on the Benedictine values, incorporating elements of service and finding ways to bring the values into the classroom.

“We are planning a series of service projects throughout the year. Hopefully, that is a lasting value that students will take with them out into the world,” Bergstrom said.

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