Catholic Community Schools announced April 27 that Erin Hatlestad has been hired as principal of Cathedral Middle School in St. Cloud beginning this July.
Hatlestad has 26 years of experience in Catholic education and is currently principal of St. Katharine Drexel School in St. Cloud, a position she has held for the past 10 years. She previously served 13 years as principal of Sacred Heart School in Sauk Rapids.
Hatlestad earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
“I’ve always had a passion for pre-K through 12th-grade Catholic education, especially within our St. Cloud area Catholic Community Schools,” Hatlestad said. “I’m excited to continue my journey within this student-focused school system as we build on the traditions of the current Cathedral Middle School while adding new and exciting project-based design thinking curriculum.”
Planning is underway for the new project-based design thinking curriculum for the middle school and the addition of sixth-grade classes starting with the 2022-23 school year. During a one-year transition period, Hatlestad will help formalize the new curriculum and determine staff and faculty needs for the middle school, which will then be located in the South Building on the Cathedral campus.
In a recent update sent to middle school families, project-based learning and design thinking was described as an approach that utilizes problems that students tackle as part of their core learning. Students will be given problems to solve in the local community or globally that will encourage questioning, research, critical thinking and evaluation skills, as well as other aspects of design thinking.
“Erin brings compassion for students and a passion for teaching and learning. Her creativity, her endless level of energy and her love for Catholic education is exactly what the Cathedral Middle School needs,” said Kathy Crispo, Cathedral High School principal. “I’m looking forward to this partnership as we continue to develop both the Cathedral Middle School and High School programming.”
Cathedral Middle School is part of the Catholic Community Schools, a consolidated school system in the St. Cloud metro area, which also includes Cathedral High School, All Saints Academy, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School and St. Katharine Drexel Schools in St. Cloud; Holy Cross School in Pearl Lake/Marty; St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Sartell; St. Joseph Catholic School in St. Joseph; St. Mary Help of Christians School in St. Augusta and St. Wendelin’s Catholic School in Luxemburg/St. Augusta.