Dear St. Anne Parish and School Community,
It is an honor and pleasure to officially announce the selection of Mrs. Colleen Kotrba as our new principal effective July 1, 2015. This is an important transition in the history of our school, and I am excited, confident, and thankful that Mrs. Kotrba will be leading our precious school into the future. This decision caps a year-long process that began when Frankie Bytheway announced her intention to retire after 22 years of selfless service to our school as a teacher and two-term principal.
When I arrived six years ago, I was immediately given the task of finding a new principal. Frankie did not even apply and was quite content teaching first grade. When it became apparent that she was the one we needed to help steer the school back on course, she was more than gracious to accept my request to take up the helm once again. I will be forever grateful for her selfless dedication to St. Anne Catholic School.
Mrs. Kotrba will be stepping up to succeed Ms. Bytheway, having already taught four years at St. Anne and several years in both private and public schools prior to coming on board with us. She originally came to St. Anne as a Title One Math teacher through Grants Pass School District #7. The following year, we invited her to work additionally with St. Anne as our teacher for language arts. The next year she was brought on even further to teach 7/8th grade social studies and create a language arts/Social Studies block. This year she has been serving as our main middle school teacher focusing on math, language arts, and social studies in addition to her continuing role as a Title One teacher through District #7. This will be her first time serving as a principal. Officially, Colleen will be spending 80% of her time as our Principal and 20% in a teaching capacity. This is a shift from Frankie’s 50-50 role as principal/teacher. I believe this will help Colleen to immerse herself in this new role as well as help us in ways that have not been possible due to previous time constraints.
Colleen has my full support. And while her new role does not begin until July, we are immediately beginning her transition process to make her first days, weeks, and months as smooth as possible. Colleen has that rare and very important quality of a servant’s heart for children. She is full of ideas and experience that come from being a teacher, wife, and mother of four children. Colleen has a heart for Jesus and is focused on why our school exists. I am very excited about her new appointment, as I believe she will continue to build on our commitment to faith formation, scholarship, leadership, and service according to our Catholic Values which we expect of our school.
Finally, I want to thank all those who helped in this search process, most especially the critical help of the search committee and the superintendent of the Archdiocese Department of Catholic Schools. Please share your heart and hopes with Mrs. Kotrba while also thanking Frankie for a job well done. This year is ending with clarity of focus and hope for the coming years for our families. Please join me in congratulating and thanking these two wonderful women in our school for their service and dedication.
Fr. William Holtzinger