Dear Parents in our St. Margaret of Scotland Community,
It is after much prayer and thought that I announce my intention to retire from my position as principal at St. Margaret of Scotland School for the 2019-2020 school year. After 13 years – all of which I treasure – I feel confident that it is time for St. Margaret of Scotland School to move forward with new leadership, new visions for our school’s future.
I always say that if I must name something lacking at St. Margaret of Scotland School it is humility. Remain with me, please, while I toot my horn. We have accomplished much together at St. Margaret of Scotland thanks to an amazing faculty and staff and wonderfully supportive parents.
- There is work yet to be done but we will iron out the crinkles in our standards-based grading in order to offer parents and their children the best possible picture of what their children knows and are able to do.
- Our preschool is flourishing with a Montessori and Theme-based program, each classroom filled to capacity larger than we have ever been in our 35+ years of teaching three- and four-year-olds.
- Our kindergarten through 5th grade continues the joy of learning with teachers committed to guiding students according to their needs and students who create for one another a quality learning environment.
- Our middle school has a reputation among the local high schools of producing hard-working students prepared to continue learning. As with last year and the year before and the year before, I fully expect each of our graduating 8th-graders to be accepted into the high school of his or her first choice. In St. Louis, that speaks volumes about an elementary school.
- Our position of a Coordinator of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity insures that our long-held belief at St. Margaret of Scotland School in the essential importance of both attitude and action for inclusion, diversity and equity will continue long after me.
- Most important is our community’s faith journey. In our parish, we baptize children; in our school, we bring all of our children to prayer, to Scripture, to the sacraments, and to a sense of living justly with the other in mind. We are called to be a living and visible presence of God’s merciful love; we are the hope-filled grace of God’s Spirit in the world.
- But we do not have air-conditioning! I might not be returning to enjoy the AC, but I will work my hardest to insure that come August we have a fully air-conditioned campus. I challenge you to join me in making this our last big project together.
In January, Fr. O’Toole will convene a search committee to find both a principal and an assistant principal to be visionaries for our St. Margaret of Scotland teaching and learning community. I will leave our school in June in a place of strength and readiness to move forward. I am confident that this timing is right, not just for me, but for all of us – teachers, students, parents, and the next generation of SMOS students!
A Message from Our PastorOn behalf of the St. Margaret of Scotland parish and school communities, I express our profound thanks to Ms. Julie Hesed for her devoted service to countless school children and their families over the years. Later in the spring, we will take the opportunity to celebrate her accomplishments and express our gratitude. In the meantime, following Archdiocesan procedure, I will assemble a search committee that will assist me in selecting our next principal for the 2019-2020 school year.Fr. Matt O’Toole, Pasto