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New principal moves from west to South Shore

St. Francis High School welcomes new leader for 2007-08

Aug. 30, 2007

Landing the position as principal of the St. Francis High School is the job of a lifetime for Mark DiStefano.

"I knew I always wanted to be a principal," he said.

Transferring from New Berlin Eisenhower High School to SFHS, DiStefano worked as vice principal for the past two years and as a coach and science teacher for three years. He coached varsity football, wrestling and track.

While coaching and teaching, DiStefano attended Concordia University, where he earned a master's degree in education administration. He is currently working toward a director of curriculum and instruction certificate from Concordia.

DiStefano's top priorities as principal include getting involved with students, facility and the community, emphasizing school pride and creating an innovative environment.

"In education, expectations are high, so there's always a challenge to meet and exceed the minimum expectations," DiStefano said.

He plans to continue a weekly reading period as part of the curriculum, open a weekly learning center and extend library hours on Wednesdays. DiStefano said he and his staff also are examining where more Advanced Placement courses are needed. He said he would like to add AP History to the curriculum.

To encourage civic involvement, DiStefano wants to increase the number of volunteer opportunities for students in school and abroad. He also looks forward to building relationships within the community.

"I always encourage people to come and meet with me in school," he said.

Prior to working at New Berlin Eisenhower High School, DiStefano was a reading instructor at Malcolm X Academy in Milwaukee. He earned a bachelor's degree from Concordia University in secondary education and biology. He minored in chemistry with aspirations of becoming a high school chemistry teacher.

DiStefano comes from a family involved in education. His father is a retired principal of 33 years, his brother works for the Marshfield School District and his wife is a teacher.

Back to School

WHAT: school begins for students in the St. Francis School District

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 4

FIRST DAY SCHEDULE:

• Willow Glen Primary School - 8:15 to 11 a.m.

• Deer Creek Intermediate School - 8 to 10:45 a.m.

• St. Francis High School - 7:40 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.

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