MISHAWAKA — New Queen of Peace School Principal Jill Patrick said her main priority is to continue the success the school has already experienced.
“I’ve come into such a well-established school, I just want to maintain the success that’s already been established at Queen of Peace,” she said.
Patrick and her husband Cory attend Queen of Peace along with their youngest son Zak, a seventh grader at Jimtown Junior High. The couple’s two oldest are in college — daughter Kelsie is a senior at Michigan State and 18-year-old Matthew attends Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB).
The family previously attended St. Pius X Parish in Granger where Patrick grew up but joined Queen of Peace with her new position as principal. “We actually live closer and it’s been a good parish for all of us to be a part of,” she said. Her husband Cory is enrolled in their RCIA program.
Patrick earned her bachelor’s degree in special education at IUSB. She received her license in Mild and Moderate Interventions through Ball State and her Masters of Education at Xavier College in Cincinnati. She worked for 16 years as a special education teacher at several different schools, most recently at School City in Mishawaka. She completed her internship while finishing her administrative license at Ball State.
Her leadership experience includes being chairperson of a behavioral team and an intervention team, among others.
Patrick said the best thing about Catholic schools is having one’s Catholic identity be a part of the everyday lives of students and staff.
“Helping children grow into faithful, contributing members of the community and having faith be a part of that journey,” she said.
“Every day I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of the students and being a part of a team of staff and professionals who are so successful already,” she said.
Patrick believes that Catholic education is important because, “We want to produce well-rounded, contributing members of society.”
“Part of our job at Queen of Peace is to develop students into the best face of Catholicism,” she said.
The Catholic education that is the center of Queen of Peace will help students be strong in their faith, more trustworthy and more active in school, church and community on a lot of different levels, according to Patrick.
“They are going to be the face of our Catholic faith in the future,” she said.
The new principal wants parents, staff and students to know she is open to suggestions and feedback.
“I may be the principal, but I’m not alone in leadership — we have a core team of very strong teachers at Queen of Peace and we’re all working together along with Father John Eze (pastor at Queen of Peace Church).”
She said what she looks forward to most in her new role is working with students, parents and staff.
“The great energy here makes me want to get up and come to work every day,” she said. “I want to continue making sure we have successful students.”
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