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Welcome Our New Principal - Denise Kobza

Welcome Our New Principal - Denise Kobza
Posted on 04/29/2020
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Hello St. Teresa of Calcutta School Community,

When I said yes to Mr. Sampson about accepting the transfer to St. Teresa of Calcutta, I knew it would be a challenge to move mid-way through the school year, but I had no idea that we would be in the midst of a pandemic. Last week, I spent some time getting settled in and getting to know the staff. This week I have been meeting with the staff of the four different grade levels to learn more about the students and how learning has been progressing. Next week, I am going to start joining in the zoom meetings so that I can get to meet the students. I was also hoping to be able to announce in my introductory message the new Associate Principal will be for the 2020 – 2021 school year, but I am still waiting for staffing announcement to come out and will let you know once it is official.

To help you get to know me I thought I would tell you a little bit more about me and my experience. I convocated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Education. Being from Saskatchewan, yes, I am an avid Riders fan. I taught at St. Mary’s School (6-12) in Taber for many years. I am looking forward to finding out which former students are part of this school community as I have run into them in each Lethbridge school. My main teaching assignments at SMS were junior high Language Arts, high school English, and French as a Second Language from 6-12. I met my husband, Kelsey, at St. Mary’s and we have two children, Adam 23 and Justin 21, who both graduated from Catholic Central High School. After Taber, I spent a couple of years at Our Lady of the Assumption School then moved on to Father Leonard Van Tighem School (Early Learning – 9) where I was the Associate Principal and then became Principal in 2011. I also completed my Master of Education with a focus on Leadership from the University of Lethbridge in 2011. I moved back to OLA in 2018 and was there for almost two years. I live on the west side of the city and am an active member of St. Martha’s Parish.

I have been blessed to work in the Catholic school system for over 25 years. The mission statement of Holy Spirit Catholic Schools states that “Our Catholic Faith is the foundation of all that we do.” For me, this means that all that we do needs to be rooted in our Catholic faith. I try to live every day in conjunction with the six qualities that I believe are essential to leadership: building relationships, having a vision to lead, being a team player, managing the community, being visibly present in the community and being a role model. Through my experiences as a teacher and administrator, and during my studies at the University of Lethbridge I researched and developed these leadership beliefs and have tried to put them into practice in my daily tasks. I have a visual reminder hanging in my office so I know what I need to strive for each and every day.

As I reflect on my experience, I realize that this is the third time in my career that I am part of a brand new administration team. My two priorities for the rest of this year and next year are going to be building relationships by getting to know people within the school community and to come to understand the culture and customs of the St. Teresa of Calcutta community. To this end, I know I need to focus on learning from the experts on the school: the staff, students and parents. I have put together a Getting to Know STC survey with the following 3 questions:

  1. What is unique about St. Teresa of Calcutta that needs to be celebrated?
  2. With the goal in mind of making STC even better than it is, what might be some areas of growth to look at for the future?
  3. Any other comments, thoughts or suggestions for administration to consider?

The purpose of this survey is for you to tell the new administration team what is unique at St. Teresa of Calcutta School and what might be some areas of growth for the future. Individual answers will not be shared with the community and the information you give us will help us get to know more about STC.

The division is also looking for feedback on how Online Learning has been progressing. We appreciate your patience, support and understanding as we navigate this new territory and we look forward to your feedback in letting us know what is going well and where we can improve.

Usually, I would say my office door is always open for anyone to drop in and say hello, but in these times we need to figure out new ways of getting to know one another. Now that new Associate Principal has been announced, we will probably make an introduction video for social media and I was also thinking of trying to hold an online meeting where we could meet virtually and have some coffee and conversations. I would love to hear any suggestions you may have for me in the Getting to Know Survey. Thank you so much for taking the time to complete these two surveys. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and getting to know you and meeting in person when the school re-opens.

St. Teresa, pray for us.

Denise Kobza, Principal
St. Teresa of Calcutta School

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