In 1994 Holy Spirit and St. Anthony schools merged to form St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. The school has 30 preschool students and 101 in grades K-6. There are nine classroom teachers in grades preschool-6 and three specialist teachers in the areas of media, physical education and music. Administration, office staff, custodial/maintenance staff, lunch program, and teacher assistants make up the rest of our staff.
Kelly Vangsness is in her first year as principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, and her 16th year in education. The following questions were answered by Vangsness.
Q: What is a unique program, event or tradition at your school?
A: We have a very successful prayer partner program between the students of our school and members of the parishes. It is one way that students are able to give back to those who do so much for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. It is always a very exciting day for students when they receive a letter in the school mail.
Q: Tell about a time when you witnessed or heard of a student (or students) who lived out their faith in action.
A: At the beginning of Lent, we held a “Penny War” at school between the classes. In just five days, students raised over $1,500 to donate to several different causes in our community. Many times teachers and staff heard students sharing that they were giving up their allowance or money they had intended to spend on themselves in order to help those in need.
Q: What is an interesting anecdote or historical fact about your school?
A: Jim Eisenreich (former Major League Baseball player )and Anne Schleper (former member of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team) — two great athletes from the St. Cloud area — are graduates of our school.
Q: How has serving as a principal in a Catholic school made a difference in your faith life?
A: Every day I am grateful for what I see and witness in our students and staff. Our mission of providing “quality education in a Christ-centered atmosphere” is evident in all areas of our school. Seeing the children grow in their faith makes me want to grow in mine too!
Q: What is one prayer intention you’d like to have offered for your school?
A: Our prayer intention would be that our school continues to grow as the transition to Catholic Community Schools happens.
Q: What do you look forward to as a Catholic Community School?
A: I am excited to see the opportunities for our teachers and staff to grow professionally because of the continued collaboration with the other CCS schools. With teachers in all of our schools working together, students will benefit and grow even more both academically and spiritually.