Cathedral High School Principal Paula Foley is retiring Jan. 31 after 36 years in education, the Catholic Community Schools board of directors has announced. Stepping in as interim principal is Kathy Crispo, who has served as principal of St. Francis Xavier School in Sartell since 2012.
Crispo previously worked at Cathedral High School from 1992-2007 as a business education teacher and later as director of technology. She grew the department from one classroom of daisy-chained computers to a schoolwide network for students and staff, according to an email from Catholic Community Schools board chair Father Ron Weyrens.
Following her time at Cathedral High School, she served as principal at St. John Preparatory School in Collegeville for five years.
“For me, this is a great opportunity to come full circle to where my career started,” Crispo said. “It was my community for many years where I built long-lasting friendships. It is where my own children went to school. Their education and experience at Cathedral led them to be successful adults who are trying to care for others and leave their mark. I’m looking forward to meeting the students and families and to work side by side with all of the teachers and staff.”
Crispo believes in the development of the whole student.
“In Catholic schools, we have the ability to nurture, support, encourage and rally for the whole child. When I think of what that means, it means academically, spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally,” she said.
The hardest part, she said, will be leaving her students and families at St. Francis. Since she accepted the new role at Cathedral, she’s been visiting students and reading them a story called, “What do you do with a chance?” by Kobi Yamada.
“I told them that I have a chance knocking at my door and that my fear is leaving them and missing them. But my other fear, I told them, is in not taking the opportunity behind that door,” she said.
The only way she could take this chance, she added, was in knowing there was a plan for the students, staff and families of St. Francis. Bonnie Van Heel will succeed Crispo as the new principal in Sartell. Van Heel, who teaches second grade there, has prior experience as a Catholic elementary school principal.
“It is a very exciting time and I’m looking forward to this opportunity to come back to where it began,” Crispo said.
Foley was hired as principal of Cathedral High School in July 2018.
Additionally, Lynn Grewing announced her resignation earlier this month as interim superintendent of Catholic Community Schools. A nationwide search has been underway to fill the role of CCS superintendent.