PLATTSMOUTH – St. John the Baptist School recently announced the appointment of Linda Monahan as principal of the school. The previous principal, Linda Isaacson, retired in May after 28 years of serving the school.
“Over the years, I’ve seen the greatness at St. John the Baptist School,” said Monahan. “I look forward to working with the teachers and parents to continue building on that greatness together.”
As a long-time educator, Monahan spent the last six years as the resource teacher at St. John the Baptist School. Prior to that, she volunteered as the speech technician for the school. Monahan’s previous experience also includes serving as the director of student services for Columbus Public Schools from 1998–2002 and as the lementary principal and special education director for Sidney Public Schools from 1995–1998. Monahan received her bachelor of arts degree in K-12 special education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a master’s in elementary and secondary administration from Chadron State College.
“Mrs. Monahan has many wonderful leadership qualities and talents that she brings to this position,” said Fr. Loras Grell, St. John the Baptist chief administrative officer. “Her deep faith and love for our school family will be the foundation which guides her as our principal.”
Beginning his fourth year as Pastor of Church of the Holy Spirit and chief administrative officer for the school, Fr. Grell said St. John’s is embarking on some exciting times ahead.
This summer a committee was formed to lead the initiative in developing strategic plans for the school.
The planning and execution process will be a collaborative effort that includes input from school leaders, teachers, families, alumnae and parishioners. The strategic plans will support an increase in student enrollment based on recent demographics statistics released by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Cass County Economic Development department.
According to Trista Farrens, Cass County economic development executive director, the projected growth in Cass County is a result of the area’s proximity to the Omaha region. Greater Omaha has a population of 931,666. Characterized by steady growth, Cass County expanded by 14 percent from 2000 – 2011. Farrens said the county is projected to grow an additional 7.3 percent more.
St. John’s is the only private school in Cass County open to all families regardless of religious faith. Many of the school’s families live outside of Plattsmouth – from small towns and communities including Bellevue, Louisville, Beaver Lake, Louisville, Cedar Creek, Union and Glenwood, Iowa.
The school, which is connected to the church located at 500 South 18th Street and has enough space to support additional classrooms. Last year, 143 students were enrolled in the school.
The school opened its doors in 1884, thanks to parishioners who had a vision to build a parochial school in Plattsmouth. St.John’s is a Pre-K thru 8 elementary school and also provides an After School Care Program to its families.The school integrates the best means of education, programs and extra curricular activities with Catholic faith and moral values. The small classroom sizes allows students to receive individualized teaching.
Last spring, St. John’s ranked above the national average on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In addition, the school provides students with regular exposure to state-of-the-art technology, such as computer labs, keyboarding, library automation, and creative learning scenarios.
Grell invites families to consider the difference that an education from St. John’s can make in a child’s life. “At St. John’s, we teach to the minds and the hearts of students. Our teachers are the difference.
This is more than just a profession for them – this is their vocation,” said Grell. "When kids know that you care about them, believe in them and support them, they tend to give their all. Students achieve more when they can smile, laugh and have fun in the classroom."
For more information on St. John the Baptist School, or to schedule a visit, contact the school at 402-296-6230.
Two New Teachers Join St. John’s
St. John the Baptist School is also welcoming two new teachers to the school. The positions follow the retirements of Margaret Winters and Shirley Rayer this past May.
Katherine Cich was hired as the first grade teacher. Prior to joining St. John’s, Wiese taught in the Omaha Public School system for four years and earned her teaching degree from Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Angelica Prestridge was appointed as the second grade teacher. She received her teaching degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and worked for the School Sisters of Christ the King and North American Martyrs School in Lincoln.