New principals set goals and prepare to exceed them

Peggy Vice, Divine Redeemer School, Hanahan

The Diocese of Charleston said goodbye to many familiar faces this past year, including the superintendent of education and the leaders of seven schools.

Filling those spots was not an easy task, and some were empty right up until the last moments before school resumed. Two of those who were tapped for the role are interim leaders who will serve until a permanent principal is hired.

Here are the new principals who will guide the schools over the 2010-2011 school year:

Peggy Vice, Divine Redeemer School, HanahanDivine Redeemer, Hanahan
Principal: Peggy Vice
Education: California State University in Long Beach, and Loyola Marymount University.
Former job: Principal at St. Bruno School in Whittier, Calif.
Years in education: 26
Hometown: Lakewood, Calif.
Why she chose this career: Vice said she always wanted to be a teacher, ever since she was in kindergarten.
Top goal: Just to have a smooth transition, to find out what everyone’s talents are and build on those.

Sheila Durante, Holy Trinity School, LongsHoly Trinity, Longs
Principal: Sheila Durante
Education: Diocesan Sisters College, which operated in Bloomfield, Conn., until 1969; Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn.; and Southern Connecticut State University.
Former job: Pastoral assistant at St. Teresa Church in Pawtucket, R.I., and before that served as superintendent of education in the Diocese of Providence, R.I.
Years in education: 47
Hometown: Cranston, R.I.
Why she chose this career: Durante said the importance of education was instilled in her by the Sisters of Mercy, who taught her throughout her school years.
Top goal: To get to know everyone. “I feel having a good relationship is very important to the success of any school, especially a brand new one,” she said.

Marianne Tully, Our Lady of the Rosary School, GreenvilleOur Lady of the Rosary, Greenville
Principal: Marianne Tully
Education: Rider University in New Jersey, and Long Island University in New York.
Former job: Kindergarten teacher at St. Mary in Greenville for 20 years and then at Our Lady of the Rosary for one year.
Years in education: 27
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Why she chose this career: Love of children.
Top goal: “To really get to know my students on a personal level,” Tully said.

Frank Cottone, St. Anthony School, FlorenceSt. Anthony, Florence
Principal: Frank Cottone
Education: Northeast Missouri State University, which is now Truman State University, for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Former job: Served as principal of St. Anthony from 1992-2000, then was principal of St. Francis before retiring. Most recently, he spent time in the public school system as a guidance counselor.
Years in education: 37
Hometown: Florence. Cottone said he spent the past five years in Lancaster, so is glad to be coming home again.
Why he chose this career: “It’s a calling,” he said.
Top goal: For the first year, to increase enrollment and the emphasis on the arts.

Michael Bolchoz, Bishop Englang High School, CharlestonBishop England High School, Charleston
Principal: Michael Bolchoz
Education: Graduated from Bishop England High School in 1983 and attended Presbyterian College in Clinton.
Former job: Assistant principal of Cardinal Newman in Columbia. He also served as athletic director and football coach at Cardinal Newman, and before that as a teacher and assistant coach at Bishop England.
Years in education: 7
Hometown: Charleston.
Why he chose this career: After college, Bolchoz owned and operated restaurants in Charleston. During that time, he volunteered as a coach at his alma mater and enjoyed being around the students. I felt I had something to offer the high school kids and felt obligated to act on it,” he said.
Top goal: To evaluate where the school is in all areas, including Catholicity, and from there implement any changes. “It’s a process,” he said.

Kathleen Morton, Our Lady of Peace School, North AugustaOur Lady of Peace, North Augusta
Interim Principal: Kathleen Morton
Education: St. Thomas in Houston, the University of Houston, and the University of South Carolina.
Former job: Presided over eighth-grade homeroom and taught language arts and math to middle school grades at Our Lady of Peace.
Years in education: 37
Hometown: Was born in Arkansas and lived in Houston for about 30 years before moving to South Carolina.
Why she chose this career: Morton said she was a problem child in first grade who never saw recess. In second grade, she had a wonderful teacher who taught her to love learning, and said she always wanted to give that same gift to a child.
Top goal: To increase enrollment and make this an exciting year with new programs to stimulate learning.

Pearlie Harris, St. Joseph School, AndersonSt. Joseph, Anderson
Interim principal: Pearlie Harris
Education: Barber-Scotia College in Concord, N.C., and Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
Former job: Retired from the Greenville County school system as a teacher in the Challenge Program for gifted students.
Years in education: 37
Hometown: She grew up in Saluda, N.C., and has lived in Greenville for 40-plus years.
Why she chose this career: Harris said she always wanted to be a teacher and gave lessons to the trees and butterflies as a child. She also had admirable teachers who inspired her.
Top goal: To accomplish as much as possible in the coming year and help the school move from excellent to extraordinary.