Saying it had become abundantly clear that Christine Schmidt, who’d served as interim principal since the start of the current school year, is the right person for the job at this point in Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s history, Head of School Meg Steele has made it official by removing the word “interim” from Schmidt’s title.
During her 27 years at the all-girls college-prep day-and-boarding high school in Lake Forest, Schmidt has served as a social studies teacher, dean of students, director of student services and interim principal.
“She has worked with the faculty and staff to guide the new block schedule, rethink the academic program, and enhance admissions and outreach efforts,” said Steele. “Most importantly, she continues to provide a safe, challenging, and loving school environment for the young women of Woodlands Academy. Her academic knowledge, strength of leadership, and sincere love of Woodlands and the Sacred Heart mission have assured a steady and productive school year.”
In her new role, Schmidt succeeds Madonna Lee Edmunds as principal. Edmunds retired last summer after a 47-year teaching and administrative career at Woodlands Academy.
Steele also announced that Rocco Gargiulo will continue as assistant principal. Gargiulo, who’s served in that capacity the past two school years, has been at Woodlands Academy a total of 14 years as a math teacher, department chair and most recently as assistant principal.
“His second year [as assistant principal] has brought expanded opportunities, and Mr. Gargiulo has gracefully risen to the challenges presented to him,” Steele said. “He’s masterminded so many logistics of the big picture of academic life and has been the driving force behind the thorough professional development necessary to prepare for and execute the new block schedule.”
Steele says she’s pleased that Schmidt and Gargiulo will continue to lead the academic side of Woodlands because she believes they make such a great team, with complimentary skill sets and strength of leadership.
Her announcement comes as Woodlands Academy prepares to mark two significant milestones next year. 2018 is the 160th anniversary of the school’s founding as well as the 200th anniversary of Sacred Heart education in North America.
Founded in 1858, Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic college preparatory day and boarding high school for young women. It’s part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries. A nonprofit, Woodlands Academy’s identity is rooted in Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat’s desire to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve. For more information about Woodlands Academy, please visit www.woodlandsacademy.org