BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After five years, St. Maximilian Kolbe School Principal Shannon Calice has resigned.
She announced the resignation on the school’s Facebook page Thursday.
“Dear families of St. Max, it is with a heavy heart that I notify you of my resignation as principal of St. Maximilian Kolbe School,” Calice wrote. “After much prayer and soul-searching, I feel God is calling me in another direction. I thank you for the five years that I had the privilege to work with you and your children, and I hold all of you in my heart and in my prayers. Please keep my family and I in your prayers, as well, as I embark on this new path God is calling me to.”
Calice told the Delano Herald Journal, “I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”
She said her time at the local Catholic school has been wonderful.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to have worked here for five years,” Calice said. “My thoughts and prayers will stay here.”
She referenced the school’s classical education program that began under her leadership.
“It will continue to grow and flourish under our very well trained teachers,” Calice said.
Father Nathan LaLiberte, pastor of the Parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe, counted the program among Calice’s accomplishments.
“Over time here as principal, she had supervised 12 different teachers and office and maintenance staff. She helped implement education programs. One would be classical education,” LaLiberte said. “She assisted us to become a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) school and have our science lab. She was very passionate about teaching the kids the virtues and the Catholice faith, in particular she loved Franciscan spirituality. She sought to bring devotion into the kids’ lives. She has a passion for Catholic education. That’s what it comes down to.”
“She was a blessing to our community,” LaLiberte continued. “We are grateful for the gifts she shared with the community.”
Mary Ziebell has been hired as an interim principal, effective Monday, Oct. 17.
Ziebell had been serving as the Northwest Evaluation Association coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and had worked with the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence.
She had previously served as principal at St. John the Baptist School in Excelsior, and as curriculum coordinator for Holy Family Academy in St. Louis Park.
LaLiberte said Ziebell will serve as interim principal until Christmas break or longer.
“If we get right applicant by that time, that principal will start then,” LaLiberte said. “Otherwise, we’ll continue with the interim. We’re going to get the best person to continue to make our school as excellent as it has always been.”