New school principals are ready for students
By John Gleason
August 22 is the first day of the 2011-2012 year for the Archdiocese of Denver’s Catholic Schools. This month, five of the schools will open with new principals. Below are brief profiles of the new leaders.
Photo by Roxanne King/DCR
Our Lady of Lourdes, Denver
A native of Denver, Rosemary Anderson attended Sts. Peter and Paul School in Wheat Ridge and Wheat Ridge High School before attending Franciscan University and the Augustine Institute.
Although her passion is teaching middle school English, Anderson describes her career experience as “pretty much across the board” having started by teaching pre-kindergarten at St. Joan of Arc Parish six years ago. She taught English and religion at Annunciation School and has also served as athletic director at St. James, where she also taught junior high social studies and English and was a member of the administrative team.
“I love watching children grow in their faith and fall deeper in love with Christ,” Anderson said. “That’s what’s special about Catholic education. … It would be impossible for me to teach children without teaching them why they’re here on earth.”
Anderson said she is looking forward to being able to serve the Catholic community of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“It’s going to be great,” she said.
St. Mary, Littleton
Greg Caudle’s first teaching experience took place during a two-year stint in the Peace Corps.
“I was teaching health education to sixth- and seventh-graders in the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe and fell in love with the profession,” he said. “So when I returned to the United States, I specifically sought out the field of Catholic education.”
Caudle is the new principal for St. Mary School in Littleton.
Originally from Tulsa, Okla., Caudle and his wife Kristen are the parents of two children. Before entering the Peace Corps, he graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., with a degree in biology. After returning from Europe, he came to Colorado where he was hired to teach seventh- and eighth-grade science at St. Mary School in Littleton. Then he moved on to St. Vincent de Paul School in Denver where he was assistant principal.
Asked about his favorite educational setting, Caudle said he enjoyed the classroom discussions of junior high science students.
“There were times the class would go way beyond the simple knowledge of science and talk about things like bio-ethics or how you can do science with a Catholic perspective,” he said.
Caudle said he’s looking forward to working with parents and teachers to build a strong educational community in which to develop the potential of students.
“We want to maintain a strong academic formation of course,” he said, “but also to have active and faithful Catholics who are virtuous students when they leave St. Mary’s.”
Mary A. Reese
St. Mary, Greeley
Educator Mary Reese said it’s a delight to be returning to Colorado after an absence of 10 years. She will be the new principal at St. Mary School in Greeley.
Originally from Sykeston, N.D., Reese studied elementary education at Valley City State College in her home state and educational leadership at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She and her husband Larry have two children.
The first years of her teaching career were spent in Cooperstown, N.D., where she taught second through sixth grades before relocating to Colorado to teach at St. John the Baptist School in Longmont and later at St. John the Evangelist School in Loveland, where she also served as assistant principal. For the past decade she has taught at Queen of Peace School in Mesa, Ariz., and St. Thomas the Apostle and St. John Bosco schools in Phoenix.
“I have a love of children—seeing them grow and sharing their faith,” she said.
Calling her 42 years in education a wonderful experience, Reese said she’s ready for more and is eager for the school year to begin.
“I feel so blessed to be coming back home and being part of this community,” she said.
Sister Maria Ivana Begovic, O.P.
St. Vincent de Paul, Denver
When Sister Maria Ivana Begovic, O.P., takes over the principal’s office at St. Vincent de Paul School in Denver, it will be one of familiar surroundings as she has been teaching second grade at that school for the past three years.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Sister Begovic entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and as the apostolate of the order is education, she began working toward her teaching degree almost immediately.
After graduating from Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., Sister Begovic taught at St. Patrick School in McEwen, Tenn., and St. Croix School in Stillwater, Minn., before being assigned to Denver and St. Vincent de Paul. She said she’s excited about the coming year and is looking forward to the challenges of her new job.
“I consider it a great gift to be working in the Archdiocese of Denver,” she said. “I am very much looking forward to working with the parents and our faculty on his endeavor of bringing little souls closer to heaven through reading, math and all that good stuff.”
St. Thomas More, Centennial
In three decades of working in education, Jan Altevogt has spent a good deal of her career in the principal’s office as well as in the classroom. Having served as assistant principal at St. Thomas More School in Centennial, she took over the reigns of principal when Paul Mott retired last year.
Born in Chicago and raised in Westfield, N.J., she attended West Virginia State and Colorado Christian University. Altevogt and her husband Carl have five children. Her teaching career began in West Virginia and she spent 14 years in public schools before moving over to Catholic schools. For almost 15 years she has worked at schools across the Denver Archdiocese including St. Louis in Englewood, All Souls, Holy Family and Sacred Heart in Boulder.
“I have an advantage taking over at a school I’ve been working at for the past three years,” she said. “It’s a well-run machine with top-notch staff. One of the benefits of that is I’ll have time to get out and be with the children—to be more visible in the school community.”
Speaking on the success of the Catholic school system, Altevogt gives the lions-share of the credit to the teachers who always seem to go the extra mile.
“They make that commitment to the education of the whole child—mind, body and spirit,” she said. “It’s wonderful to watch that happen.”