About UsLetter from School Leadership
Letter from School Leadership
Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Mary Catholic School,
I hope that everyone is having a wonderful summer vacation. As we are entering August, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to join the St. Mary Catholic School family as your new principal. I look forward to working with all of you as we begin the new year. Thank you for your continued commitment to providing your children with a Catholic education. We are all thankful that you choose to send your children to SMCS. We understand the sacrifices that you make in order to provide your children with this educational opportunity. The faculty, staff, and I are committed to serving you, and we seek to continue to build on the Catholic virtues and rigorous instruction that St. Mary Catholic School provides.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland in Secondary Education in Biology and a Master of Science Degree in Educational Leadership from Hood College. I have obtained both Administration/Principal I and II certifications, as well as National Board Teachers Certification.
Before joining St. Mary’s, I worked as a teacher and leader in Montgomery County Public Schools for thirty years. I taught middle school science at Ridgeview Middle School, Kingsview Middle School, Baker Middle School, and finally Rocky Hill Middle School where I developed leadership skills as the head of the science department and as the 8th grade team leader. During my sixteen years at Rocky Hill, I served the community as a member of the school leadership team, planning and implementing school wide decisions for ensuring safety, improving instruction, and building community.
Over my lifetime, I have grown and continue to grow in my Catholic Faith. I have had the opportunity for ten years to serve at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Libertytown, as a volunteer youth minister and I continue to serve in music ministry for Liturgies. It is truly a blessing to serve the Lord in helping the congregation enter in and engage more fully in the Mass.
In folding both my love for science and the Catholic Faith, I have learned that faith and reason together support and uphold the truth. I believe that is the work we do as Catholic educators.
We teach students to seek truth with humility and fidelity. Pope St. John Paul II stated, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” During this time of cultural shifts and relativity, children are seeking guidance and assurance.
Jesus proclaimed that He is The Truth. As a Catholic school, we are equipped to teach children the truth of our Faith; to empower children to discern truth; and to give children the tools to navigate through a world where truth is waning.
As I begin meeting students and their families this school year, I hope to build and to strengthen trust between all of our stakeholders. I plan to work with transparency as I look to all of you to engage in continuing the long history of St. Mary Catholic School as an exceptional place for learning. Every child has the right to feel safe to learn, grow and thrive simply because each one is made in the image and likeness of God. We have the great responsibility to provide a secure environment where all of our students can achieve. And as a community of learners, we must all help each other to become the best versions of ourselves. With Christ as our strength, let’s lean into this work together, to provide for our children the best school year yet!
Sincerely in Him,
Michelle Smetanick, Principal