McDermott named Pacelli interim president/elementary principal

Published 10:34 am Monday, December 5, 2016



A familiar face is taking a new leadership role at Pacelli Catholic Schools.

The Pacelli Board of Trustees has named Jean McDermott as interim president and elementary principal of Pacelli Catholic Schools, effective Jan. 5, 2017.

“It is with great joy that we welcome Jean McDermott to our schools. She is a highly-respected administrator and educator with many years of fruitful experience upon which she will be able to draw as she begins her service with us as President of Pacelli Catholic Schools,” said Fr. Jim Steffes, trustee/pastor, in a press release. “We are both excited and blessed to have Jean on board to help Pacelli Catholic Schools move to the next level of academic excellence while staying true to our Catholic foundation and values.”

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McDermott, an Austin native, graduated from Austin High School and Riverland Community College. She earned a degree in elementary education at Bemidji State University, Middle School Endorsement at St. Thomas University, Masters in Education at Hamline University, and Education Specialist Degree with a K-12 Principal Certification at Winona State University.

McDermott taught middle school math and religion at Our Lady of Grace in Edina and St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, both Catholic schools, for ten years. She then returned to Austin to teach fourth grade at St. Augustine’s Catholic School for one year.

In 1990, McDermott began her career with Austin Public Schools as a teacher at Ellis Middle School and administrator at Ellis Middle School, Neveln Elementary School, Woodson Kindergarten Center, and IJ Holton Intermediate School.  McDermott retired from Austin Public Schools in June 2016 after 26 years of service.

An active member of St. Edward’s Catholic Church, McDermott served on Pacelli’s Vision Task Force in 2015, the first step in developing Pacelli’s Strategic Improvement Plan. She has also volunteered at Pacelli the past three months assisting the Advancement Department with grant writing and public relations.

“The positive energy, academic excellence, close-knit community, and ability to share one’s faith that I have experienced in the last three months, as I have been in Pacelli schools, has had a big impact on meMcDermott noted said in a press release. “I am excited to part of putting the strategic improvement plan, which highlights a ‘Classical Catholic Education’ into action.”

Faye Bollingberg, a Pacelli trustee, was pleased to welcome McDermott to the new role.

“To have Jean McDermott accept this interim position is certainly a blessing for Pacelli Catholic Schools,” she said in the release. “We are fortunate to have someone as qualified as Jean willing to take on this role and lead our school as we actively continue our search for a full-time President.  This is great news for our stakeholders. The community knows and respects Jean; she provides us with a level of leadership and experience that is, in our opinion, exceptional.”