St. Alphonsus Catholic School will start off the new school year with a new administrator as Carrie Hope assumes the duties of school administrator.
By Melissa Anderson
“As Derek[Simonsen], the past principal, made the decision to move to a different school he approached me and asked if I would be willing to take the position as principal (school administrator) as he knew I was pursuing my master’s degree in Educational Leadership. I happily accepted the position at the end of May,” Hope shared.
An experienced educator with eight years total in teaching, two of which were at St. Alphonsus, Hope received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from St. Cloud State University. Hope is now working to gain a Master’s in Educational Leadership from North Dakota State University. Prior to the previous principal’s departure, Hope was able to “learn the ropes and is also doing powerschool training for this new role”. With four youngsters of her own at home, a kindergartner and three toddlers, the work-life balance over the past several months has made it clear that Hope can take on anything.
“I have learned to balance home life, classes and schoolwork quickly. I take things one day at a time, but I have lots of support from our wonderful staff at school and my wonderful family at home that everything is working out really well,” Hope said.
Hope has had the goal of having a career in education for as long as she can remember. For her, the joy of working and helping students learn, grow, and reach their full potential is very fulfilling. Hope has always wanted to work with children and help them on their path to success, but the idea of being a principal was one that wasn’t front and center for her.
“I have talked about becoming a principal here and there but did not know if our life at home would allow it to happen. However, with a very supportive husband who pushed me to go for it, I am excited to have the opportunity to make this dream a reality,” Hope commented.
As Hope looks ahead to this first year in her new role, the plan is to continue to make St. Alphonsus a strong choice for area parents to consider. Efforts have been underway for a few years to make St. Alphonsus School as up-to-date, with educational advancements and school setting, as possible. This upcoming school year will include the implementation of a STEAM room (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).
“We are excited to start doing lots of fun hands-on learning in there. We are also working on building up our enrichment and intervention time so we can reach each students’ individual learning needs,” Hope shared.
Future plans for the school as they carry on this goal are to build their sensory hallway, project-based learning and to continue working towards their one-to-one technology for the whole school.
“We are lucky to implement one-to-one for 4th-8th grade this school year,” Hope stated.
Before taking on this new role, Hope was the preschool and pre-K teacher. She explained that she was not ready to leave the pre-K program yet so will continue to be a teacher of that class section while another teacher will handle the preschool section.
“The big change, personally, will be being back at work full-time in three years since having our triplets. Also, just the role as a school administrator is different than being a classroom teacher. There are a lot of new things to learn, but I am ready for the challenge,” Hope said.
Hope shared that she is very proud and honored to be a part of such a great school with amazing and caring teachers and staff.
“The support for our school is beyond appreciated, and I hope to help carry on the great education at St. Alphonsus for the 98th school year,” Hope said.