St. James Catholic School’s newest principal is ready to jump right into the community as he leads the Cougars in the right direction.

David Stone, who took over the administrative position five weeks ago, comes to the Seguin area with more than 12 years of experience in the education realm.

Originally from California, Stone graduated high school and then bachelor’s degrees in English and political science from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

“When I graduated with my bachelor’s degrees, I was really trying to decide what am I going to do with English and political science,” Stone said. “Do I want to go into education or law school perhaps? I decided I didn’t want to go to grad school at all at that point so I applied for and became a Peace Corps volunteer.”

Stone spent two years in Mongolia teaching English, serving as a coach and in several other roles, he said.

“It gave me the opportunity to see if I enjoyed working with students in a classroom, with professional colleagues,” Stone said. “So when I got back to the states after completing my term of service, my subsequent pursuits were graduate school in education.”

Stone earned his master’s from Wichita State University in Kansas before jumping into his teaching career. He taught at the middle school level for seven years and eventually moved into administrator roles at several Catholic schools around the United States, including St. Anne Catholic School in Grants Pass, Oregon; Holy Family School in Lacy, Washington; and St. Luke’s School in Woodburn, Oregon.

As for why he decided to choose Seguin as his next stop, Stone said it was the community.

“There are Catholic schools all over the United States so why specifically here? I really like the size of the community and the people,” he said. “I came out here for a four-day interview visit with both the parish priests Father Dennis and Father Greg. I could tell they were very supportive of the school and the community as a whole. It just really felt like this is where God wanted me to come at this time.”

While the school year just started for St. James, Stone said it’s going well so far.

“We have great kids. We started school last Wednesday the 14th and we had our first mass together Friday,” he said. “One of the things that warms the heart and I appreciate is how the older kids without prompting will seek to help the younger kids whether it’s at church or in the lunchroom.”

With his new role, Stone has several goals from enrollment to community service and having a role in the community.

On the academic side, Stone and the staff at St. James plan to adopt a new standardized testing program the Archdiocese of San Antonio rolled out this school year.

“Instead of taking a big test in the spring, we’ll be testing every few months now. I’m really excited to have that as an objective. We’ll be able to check every few months on the students’ growth and their academic needs,” Stone said.

But first Stone is looking forward to becoming a part of the community himself and starting a search for the best craft beer and tacos in the area.

“I want to build those relationships and get to know people. I’d like to understand where our strengths are and where we may have room for improvement working as a team moving forward,” he said.

 

Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com .

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