Two catholic schools in Sylvan Lake recently said farewell to their principals — Dorice Swensrude at École Mother Teresa School and Jodi Smith at École Our Lady of the Rosary School.
Both transitioned to different schools within the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools division last year.
Now École Our Lady of the Rosary School has warmly welcomed its new principal, Diane Kulczycki.
Kulczycki has enjoyed her career in education for the past 25 years both in the classroom and in different administrative positions, the most recent as principal of St. Martin de Porres School for the past five years.
She accepted the transfer with great pleasure and describes being the new principal in a different school as exciting and rejuvenating.
French is Kulczycki’s first language and what she first taught; now she has the privilege of working in a school that is full French immersion.
“It’s providing me the opportunity to come back into French immersion,” Kulczycki said. “I am coming back into a school community that has French.”
During her career she has worked in a number of different schools within the division and said all the schools are beautiful and rich in culture.
Kulczycki’s goal for this year is to get to know all 270 students’ first names, because she wants to individualize them.
She said this important because human beings like to be recognized and to know they are special, and she believes this can be achieved through addressing the students by name.
“Being able to call them by name is the beginning of demonstrating that they are unique and special to all of us,” Kulczycki said.
She describes her first impression of the school’s atmosphere as welcoming and said the staff are like one big energetic family.
“The most important thing is that people feel welcomed and they feel a part of the community, because once you feel safe and cared for, then you are ready to learn,” Kulczycki said.
She also aims to get to know the Town of Sylvan Lake as she lives in Red Deer.
École Our Lady of the Rosary School has several new teachers as well, including Rachel Minkutu, Lynda Gamroth, Stephanie Hebert and Haley Sackaela-Geiger, with Raymond Giroux being a new teacher at École Mother Teresa School.