July 23, 2007

Winsted's Holy Trinity School gets new principal

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

Bill Tschida, a Watertown resident and former Watertown-Mayer teacher, athletic director and coach, was recently hired by Holy Trinity School as its new principal.

Tschida is looking forward to the upcoming school year and being principal of a k-12 Catholic school.

“I am excited to be here,” he said. “I have really enjoyed meeting the people that I have met so far. I feel a really deep commitment to the school. I look forward to working with the people to make it as good a school as it can be,” Tschida said.

Catholic education is not new to Tschida, who has received all of his education from Catholic institutions.

For elementary school, he attended St. Luke’s in St. Paul and for high school he attended Cretin-Derham Hall. He is a graduate of St. John’s University and received his master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s of Winona.

The theme Tschida is incorporating into his first year at Holy Trinity is, “What makes us different, makes us special.”

He wants the teachers and students to celebrate the freedoms they have attending a private school where they are able to express their faith openly.

“We can say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning without any repercussions, we can pray, we can go to Mass, we can use the teachings of the Bible as a way to treat each other. We can do all of this without looking over our shoulder,” Tschida said.

The first Holy Trinity Education Committee meeting was last Monday. One of the major concerns addressed by the committee was enrollment.

Tschida would like to see enrollment grow and has a number of different ideas on things the school might possibly do to increase its student numbers.

One change would be the school offering high school courses with college credits. It is his understanding that Holy Trinity did offer college credits at one time but it is not currently being done.

Getting the student council more involved and taking some accountability in the school environment is another project important to him. He would like to hear its thoughts on how to make Holy Trinity a better school.

Technology Tschida sees as an on-going thing.

“The school has done a very good job of having computer labs and providing internet capapabilities and resources,” Tschida said.

He would also like the technology department to “dream big” mentioning looking into “smart boards” and DVD projects to improve the educational process.

A major change to the current athletic program will be something that both Tschida and the school’s education committee plan to work on – to eventually have all of the athletic programs back at Holy Trinity.

“I think there is a very strong advocacy to have that,” Tschida said.

“We are very appreciative of Lester Prairie for allowing us this co-op for the next two years,” Tschida said. “Hopefully it will give us the opportunity to reestablish ourselves and build things up so we are prepared to make that step back, and to provide those activities.”

Friday night football games and basketball games are a gathering place for community environment and that is part of a successful school environment, according to Tschida.

Being principal of a k-12 private school feels like the right next step for Tschida who has had many years of experience in education.

“I think all of the educational experiences I have had so far will serve me. Plus I think a real postive for me is having served in both Catholic school and public school situations. I have a pretty objective opinion on how those function.

His first teaching experience was at Holy Redeemer in Marshall Catholic grade school where he taught for three years. He taught at St. Mary’s High School in Sleepy Eye for nine years. He taught at Watertown-Mayer for eight years and was also athletic director there.

Last year he was a dean of students in Adrian for grades six through 12 with approximately 50 to 60 students per grade. He basically served as the building principal and was responsible for all discipline and attendance.

Tschida has been an athletic director for a total of 15 years. He has coached volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and football, but his passion is baseball.

“I have been coaching baseball since I was 18 years old and spent most of my summers chasing my boys around, and I coached my daughter’s softball team, too.”

Tschida’s home is in Watertown. He is married to Karen, and they have three chilren, Patrick, 16; Emily, 13; and Nick is 12.

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