St. Edward School welcomes new principal
by KEVIN GROSS
Saint Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave., recently welcomed new principal Sara Lasica after 27-year principal Sister Marie Michelle retired.
"Saint Edward will always hold special memories for me and, of course, it is my favorite place this side of heaven. Thank you all for your support and love. You have made my final years as a principal one that I will cherish forever," Michelle said in a letter to parents in June.
"Definitely we are going to continue that level of academic excellence and take it to the next step, because this is already a really great school and she left behind some great foundations," Lasica said.
"One of the biggest accomplishments for Sister Marie is the school’s Blue Ribbon status," Lasica said of the school’s national award in 2017, a distinction that will last until 2022.
Before Lasica’s appointment to Saint Edward, she served for 5 years as assistant principal and 12 years as an eighth grade teacher at suburban Wood Dale’s Holy Ghost School, which is set to close.
"I went to public schools growing up, but my mother was a Catholic educator and I went in knowing I’d pursue a career in Catholic education," Lasica said of her own college experience at Dominican University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in teaching. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lewis University.
"Everything we do is based on foundations of teachings of the church. Everything should have Jesus at its forefront, as our school exists because of Jesus Christ," Lasica said. "We’re not just creating bright young men and women to go out in the world to get good careers, we’re prepping people to be leaders, be more compassionate and have a moral base."
Lasica said that focus should be on improving student access and the use of technology, although she praised her predecessor for creating a strong technological infrastructure by implementing a one-to-one laptop program for students in junior high grades and bringing tablet computers for primary grades.
"That says a lot about the past administration to have foresight and understand that technology would be important to the world we now enter," she said. "But looking at technology is always ongoing, looking at what we need and what we can do within the constraints of a budget (to) give our children the best experience."
Lasica also said that she would encourage communication through technology, and she plans to start a Twitter account "for teachers to put out news and updates of the great work, events or initiatives they are doing."
She remains excited to debut a new pilot writing and critical thinking program for students in junior high grades, which she described as an online module pointing students toward arguments and facts based on ideas or prompts, from which they would "make a well crafted essay or even just a paragraph step-by-step, to learn how to support an idea and create that foundation of rhetoric."
Over the summer Lasica also said that the gym should receive a new floor.
"That should be exciting for sports teams and gym classes," she said.
Additionally, Lasica said there are currently no plans to increase enrollment costs, and she praised the financial support from the school’s donors and alumni base and the Saint Edward parish for "realizing how important having education as part of their ministry is."
"We want to keep the school affordable to our nearby families," she said.