Four schools in the Diocese of Charleston have new principals at the helm this year: Our Lady of Peace in North Augusta, St. Peter in Beaufort, St. Michael in Garden City and St. Francis on Hilton Head Island.
Our Lady of Peace
New principal: Stephen Hickey
Former position: Taught math and social studies last year at Our Lady of Peace; also taught for a year at Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Augusta, Ga. Prior to teaching, Hickey served four years in the U.S. Air Force as an elite guard security forces leader and is finishing his fourth year of reserve duty.
Education background: Hickey earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Augusta State University and a bachelor’s in management from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He is pursuing a specialist degree in educational leadership at Augusta State while serving as principal.
Family: His wife Angie and three daughters, plus his parents who live in Augusta, and three sisters.
Goals: “To maintain the quality Catholic education the school has provided for so long and hopefully to grow as a school.”
Outgoing principal: Kathleen Morton, who served as interim principal last year, retired after 38 years.
New principal: Sister Judy Therese Holler, SSCM
Former position: Sister Judy spent the past three years teaching fourth grade at St. Gregory the Great School in Bluffton. Before that, she was assistant principal for a year and principal for three years at Blessed Sacrament School in Charleston.
Education background: A bachelor’s in elementary education, a master’s in education with an emphasis on reading, and a master’s in Catholic school administration.
Family: Her congregation, the Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius; and a stepmother and other family members back home in Winchester, Va.
Goals: Sister Judy said they are celebrating St. Peter’s 20th anniversary this year and are planning ways to mark the occasion. She would like to make the school more accessible to everyone and continue its great tradition.
Outgoing principal: Chris Trott, who took a position as Catholic schools assistant superintendent for the Diocese of Savannah.
New principal: Linda Cherry
Former position: She has been in education for over 40 years, most recently as school superintendent for the Diocese of Charlotte. She wanted to retire close to the beach, and is now looking forward to her “retirement job.”
Education background: A bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and a master’s in education administration and supervision.
Family: Her husband Rick, five brothers and sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
Goals: To evaluate where the school is academically and make sure it is on target in all areas, and to grow enrollment. Cherry said her greatest days were those spent in the school and she is looking forward to it.
Outgoing principal: Miriam Jones took a teaching position at St. Andrew School in Myrtle Beach.
New principal: Sister Kathleen Kane, SSMN, interim principal
Former position: Pastoral associate at St. Francis by the Sea Church for 11 years, where she was indirectly involved with the school too.
Education background: A bachelor’s in English with a minor in education, a teaching certificate from Mount St. Mary Teacher Training School, a master’s in theology, and a master’s in religious education/administration.
Family: Her congregation, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur; and three brothers, one of whom is her twin.
Goals: “I hope that as an entire school … that we would strive for excellence in all our endeavors,” Sister Kathleen said. She will also serve as chairperson on the search committee for a new principal.
Outgoing principal: Michael Rockers, now superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii.