Update: Dr. Hillmann returning as principal of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
by BRIAN NADIG
Dr. Kristine Hillmann will be returning this fall as principal of the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity School, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave., following a contentious meeting on May 4 in which many parents praised her performance and urged parish pastor Mike Grisolano to reverse his decision to seek a new principal.
“The parents and teachers in our community displayed the kind of strength and bond that we have not witnessed before,” Grisolano said in a letter sent today to school families.
“As I stated during the meeting, my commitment and love for our school community remains strong, and while at times it seems that I have not heard you, please rest assured that I am listening. The morning after our meeting, I met with parent and teacher representatives to collaborate and discuss a path to communicate and develop a shared, mission-oriented vision.
“As your pastor it is my desire to build the bridge between school and parish. Through our discussions, we determined the best course would be to extend a contract (for next school year) to Dr. Kristine Hillmann. I am pleased to announce that Dr. Hillmann graciously accepted and will continue as principal.”
It was reported at the meeting that 62 percent of the approximately 100 parents who responded to a survey indicated they would enroll their child at a different school this fall if Dr. Hillmann and multiple teachers did not return. An additional 35 percent reportedly said that they would consider other schools.
A search already had begun for Dr. Hillmann’s replacement but that is now called off. Several parents who contacted Nadig Newspapers said that Dr. Hillmann exceeded their expectations, especially given the additional challenges created by the pandemic. The parents also said that many teachers had voiced support for Dr. Hillmann.
Saint Elizabeth, which is located in the former Saint Tarcissus School building, is finishing up its first academic year.
The school has a enrollment of about 200 students and was formed as part of the consolidation of the Saint Tarcissus, Saint Thecla and Saint Cornelius parishes. The consolidation resulted in the closing of Saint Thecla School and the north campus of the Pope Francis Global Academy.
“We will work together, along with our leadership team, to set goals and establish clear roles and structures that will enable us to advance with a shared vision as we continue to emerge from the ‘Renew My Church’ process,”
risolano said. “A vital part of our mission of renewal will be to provide increased opportunities for involvement from families, increased communication and transparency of operations.”