2006-09-01 / Education

Southern hospitality draws principal to Cardinal Newman

By John Dixon Cub@TheColumbiaStar.com

By John DixonCub@TheColumbiaStar.com

Jacqualine Kasprowski
Jacqualine Kasprowski

When Jacqualine Kasprowski decided it was time to relocate, she interviewed many places including Chicago, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; and Columbia. Her decision was pretty much made as soon as she stepped into Cardinal Newman. She was struck by the warm welcoming sense of community and the politeness of the students and, of course, it helped that snow is a rarity in the south.

"The people here were outstanding - warm, friendly, welcoming-true Southern Hospitality and the Cardinal Newman students were very polite," said Kasprowski.

Kasprowski noted that "Anytime you can become part of a close-knit community that feels strongly about the things you feel strongly about, it is too great an opportunity to pass up.

For Cardinal Newman, this is a time of growth and change. Kasprowski finds that challenge exciting. She is prepared to lead the school through a Blue Ribbon Process, to decide issues related to relocation or renovation, as well as curriculum overhaul.

She would like to see Cardinal Newman grow just a bit to reduce the financial burden on the families choosing to educate their children in a strong Catholic tradition but not too much for fear of losing the strong sense of school and community.

One of the key focuses will be to decide which of five options will be the best for facilities improvement and growth. Another major task is to examine what is being taught and how it is taught. Kasprowski envisions new and more varied course options as well as differentiated learning opportunities for students.

When asked where she would like to be in five years and where she would like Cardinal Newman to be, Kasprowski did not hesitate. "I want Cardinal Newman to be the very best place it can be for the families it serves." What does that mean?

+ Renovation or relocation completed. Enrollment up to about 475 students in grades 7 through 12. An expanded guidance program and a diverse and challenging curriculum.

+ Kasprowski working shoulder to shoulder with her new family at Cardinal Newman to provide the best education possible and a strong sense of community for all who teach and learn there. It's a great dream and it appears that with Kasprowski's leadership. It's definitely possible.

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