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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
August 22, 1997     The Message
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August 22, 1997

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/ ur principals, administrative assistant named MARY ANN HUGHES Message staff writer schools in the Diocese of have new principals Jail, according to Phyllis diocesan director of ii ! administrative assistant hired at Memorial Evansville. Carnahan has been )al at Washington Elementary School, Bradley has been serv- principal at all three Catholic schools. has been a teacher Elementary School, since 1990. a B.S. degree from University. She is Process of completing all in edu- administration. Coy has been hired as principal at St. Bernard School, Rockport. During 1996-97, he was prin- cipalat Glenford Elementary School in Glenford, Ohio. He has 23 years of experience in educa- tion, including 15 years as an elementary school principal. He holds a master's of educa- tion degree from Xavier Univer- sity, and a bachelor's degree from Morehead State. Richard Mathena begins duties at Washington Catholic High School, Washington, this fall. He was principal at Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand, from 1993 to 1995. From 1995-97, he taught at St. Mary School in Mount Carmel, Ill. From 1969 through 1993, he taught English and his- tory at Northeast Dubois High School. He holds a bachelor's degree from Oakland City College, and a master's degree from Indiana JANE LISA RICHARD CARNHAN POPHAM MATHERA State University. Benedictine Sister Karlene Sensmeier has been named principal at St. Benedict School, Evansville. Sister Sesmeier served as principal at St. Benedict from 1971 through 1985. She holds a bachelor's degree in education from St. Benedict College, and a master's degree from Indiana University. SISTER STAN SENSMEIER COY In 1986 through 1987, was assistant director of develop- ment at the Monastery Immac- ulate Conception. From 1987 to 1990, she was administrator at the Institute for Spiritual Lead- ership in Chicago. From 1990 to 1996, she served as director at Kordes Enrich- ment Center in Ferdinand. * Memorial High School prin- cipal, GerryAdams, has named Lisa Popham as administrative assistant. She replaces Linda Eberhard, formerly the assis- tant principal for curriculum and instruction. Eberhard is returning to the classroom. Since 1987, Popham has been a teacher at Holy Redeemer School, Evansville. She holds both bachelor and a master degrees from Indiana State Uni- versity. 41 Schools UPon a time there was a She had a mom and a a little sister at that there were four to be. She had a doll or clothes across the street, a backyard, and an behind her house and the right of her house [was another large field alternately planted and soybeans. These space for many no air-conditioning and she remembers t her morn and dad had their bedroom. She uncom- heat back then. air-conditioning in that time. Every- accustomed to the large trees provided a on really hot days. Director of Schools: It's a wonderful time This little girl lived at a time when it was not so important to lock doors, to warn children of strangers, or to be concerned about what she might see on the TV (there was no TV), or where she might end up on the Internet. She could walk to and from school, run and play in the yard and fields with no concern for drive-by shootings or human predators in the vicinity. Dogs ran free in the neighborhood, people shared fresh vegetables from their gardens and cups of sugar from their pantries, and neighborhood children were as likely to be corrected by any of the adult neighbors for inappro- priate behavior as they were by their own parents. Life was good. During one of this little girl's first days at Holy Rosary School she decided she wanted to be a teacher just like her first grade teacher, Sister Lorraine. Sister made all of her students feel excited about the opportunity to go to school and all the things that they could learn. The little girl would pretend to be a teacher when she returned home from school. Her dolls and her little sister were her students. Sister reinforced the learning that the little girl was getting at home. Every night around the dinner table the little girl was given the chance to talk about what she had .learned. The little girl's parents supported Sister's efforts and reminded the little girl that she must obey Sister and do her very best each day. When that little girl grew up, she did become a teacher -- a first grade teacher, in fact. She was a teacher for 13 years, during which time she taught kinder- garten through sixth grade. She then decided to be a prin- cipal. From there she went to the Schools Office to become the Assistant Director of Schools for the Diocese of Evansville. She is now Director of Schools for the Diocese, and has served in that capacity since 1989. Catholic schools have been a major part of her life. She attend- ed Holy Rosary School through the eighth grade, went on to Memorial High School, and after receiving her B.A. in education, returned to the classroom to begin teaching at Holy Redeemer School. After 10 years there she went to Westside Catholic Con- solidated School (WCCS) at Sacred Heart to be principal. It was after her tenure there that she was asked to consider the central office position where she has been for the past 12 years. So what have all these years (35 years) of involvement in Catholic schools taught her? Her answer -- many things. She knows that her life is better in every way because she attended Catholic schools. She has an insatiable hunger for learning. She knows that hard work and perseverance are vitally impor- tant to success. Her most recent experience of that came after two-and-a-half years of working on and completing her Ph.D. She knows the importance of prayer in her daily life -- some- thing that was instilled in her at a very early age. She knows the importance of parental support of the school and its teachers. She knows that what children learn at school is an extension of what they. learn at home and that no matter how often Sister (or Mrs. Brown) says "remember to pray before you eat," or "go to church on Sunday," if parents don't model that behavior at home, that encour- agement from school may not mean much to children. She knows that when parents support teachers, good behavior is the norm  not the exception. And when parents don't support teachers and administrators and question their decisions and their methods of discipline, it confuses children and gives them permis- sion to question the authority of their own parents. She knows that Catholic schools expect a great deal from their students and that high expectations are key to success- ful learning experiences. She knows that school is a comfort- ing place when God can be invit- ed in daily and is a part of every class each day. She knows that it is importzmt for young men and women to be provided an environment where they can discu their beliefs and their faith in God, where they can share their joys, sorrows and concerns in a Christian setting, and where they can learn that they have a moral responsibility to do goed and to be gee& This (nowgrown-up) little girl learned to believe that her work is not a job-- but rather, a ca//- ing -- a vocat/on. There are times when it would be easy to become discouraged when try- ing to oversee the operation of 30 schools, but when one knows that she has been called it is easy to continue to work hard realizing that it is a blessing to serve the people of the diocese in this way. She knows that it is a wonder-, ful time to be Director of Schools. The schools in our diocese are experiencing unprecedented growth and success. Classrooms are under con- struction in many places. There are waiting lists in many of our schools. Over the past five years the schools have experienced a 13 percent increase in enrollment. Preliminary figures for the 1997-98 school year indicate a continuation of that growth. Expectations are high. Stu- dents are expected to achieve. Teachers are expected to per-. form well. Administrators are expected to ensure excellence in their school. Anyone employed in the schools is asked to understand that we cannot be content with the status quo. We must always seek to improve. Reach higher -- that is the philosophy with which she leads. We must do all we can to provide students with the best possible learning experiences. We must be certain that they are learning the tenets of our Catholic faith. We must not rest until we have done all that we can to provide the very best edu- cation possible to the students who are entrusted to tin, We must not rest until we have convinced parents that the investment they are making -- to give their child a Catholic eduction- is a wise decision. It is one that will bene- fit their child, their family, their community, and the world. And as the grown-up little girl looks around today -- all across the diocese, she smiles and Life Is good  and it's ging to be even better! This is not the of the story -- it is only the