Veronica graduated from CC in 2005. While at CC, Veronica participated in basketball, cross country, and softball. After high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Purdue University, her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Alabama, and she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Law. Her long-term goal is to work at the Indiana State House to make educational policies on standards and assessments, along with advocating for students and families in non-public schools.
Veronica met her husband, Joe, at Purdue. They were married at St. Mary Cathedral in April 2011. Joe’s job at the time was in Oakland, California. Veronica taught kindergarten at St. Leo the Great Catholic School in Oakland, CA. After their oldest, Isaac, was born in January 2012, Joe was relocated to Marion, Indiana. While in Marion, Veronica taught first grade at St. Paul Parish School for three years. During that time, Veronica and Joe had two more children: AJ (August 2013) and Johanna (April 2015). With three kids under the age of four, Veronica decided to take a year off from teaching to take care of the kids. In the spring of 2016, Joe was transferred to Rainbow City, Alabama. Veronica went back to work at St. James Catholic School teaching fifth grade.
"In the winter of 2017, Joe was transferred back to Marion, Indiana where I told him I was finished moving! I returned to teaching at St. Paul Parish School in the fourth grade. In spring 2020 I was hired as the principal at St. Paul, where I am currently finishing my third year as principal and where I am blessed to work with Fr. Ted Rothrock, a CC alumnus as well, class of 1969!"
The summer before Veronica moved into the principal role, the then-pastor, Fr. Christopher, and Veronica established the goal of increasing school enrollment to:
- Financially support themselves without parish subsidies (which looks to happen within the next two school years) and
- Be able to create and maintain a junior high school.
When Fr. Rothrock joined the school in November 2020, he too had the same vision for the school’s growth. Last fall, they added 6th and 7th grades to St. Paul Jr. High School. Next year, 2023-2024, 8th grade will be added to complete the Jr. high. "I have already had several parents ask when I will get a high school built on the lot next to the school. Father Ted and I have a goal together which is to have 180 students enrolled Pk-8th July 1, 2023, and sustain at least 180 students for years to come." Their goals have been and are:
- First day of school August 2021 - 109 students enrolled in PK-6th
- First day of school August 2022 - 147 enrolled in Pk-7th
- Goal- First day of school August 2023 - 180 enrolled in Pk-8th
"Working at a Catholic school has shaped and strengthened not only my faith but that of my family. My husband came into the church at the Easter Vigil in 2016. Being a Catholic school principal comes with the benefit of being highly involved in the school and church community. By default, we get to spend a great number of hours in school and church, experiencing things many Catholics have not. For example, last spring my children helped Fr. Ted sieve through the ashes from the burnt palms for Ash Wednesday. They have also been able to establish and continue to have close relationships with both Deacon Jordan and Deacon Andrew, who were part of the St. Paul community in 2019-2020."
Fun facts about Veronica
- I enjoy spending as much time as I can outside, whether it's running, hiking, or playing kickball at recess with the students. Last fall my husband and I purchased our first sailboat and will spend as much time as we can sailing Lake Michigan over the summer.
- My favorite part of the day is morning and watching the sunrise. I am always amazed at God’s amazing creations and the blessing of a new day. I get to watch the sunrise out my office window each morning!
- My two favorite saints and saints whom I can relate to are Mother Teresa and St. Joan of Arc (Patron Saint of Lady Knights).
- While attending Purdue, I was the assistant varsity cross country and the junior high track coach for five years at Central Catholic.
- Keep in touch at https://www.facebook.com/StPaulCatholicPrincipal/
- I have worn the same outfit for picture day every year as a teacher and principal (10+ years and counting).
- In October, my brother Nick and I will be running the Chicago Marathon on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Team, whose mission is to "Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide". We will be running in memory of Kristen O'Neil - Nick's wife and my sister-in-law, who passed away in December 2020 after battling post-partum depression and psychosis. https://supporting.
How did your education at LCSS prepare you for college and your career?
CC well prepared me for college and life both academically and spiritually. I was taught by some of the best teachers, some still there today! As a senior, I had the opportunity to attend Jeff High School in the mornings to take AP Chemistry and Mass Media, two courses CC didn’t offer. This allowed me to experience a larger, non-Catholic school community, an atmosphere not driven by faith. I thank my parents often for sending me to a school that provided a Christ-centered learning environment where I could grow in faith and knowledge in order to serve God in this world and to be eternally happy in the next.
How did LCSS help to shape your faith?
After my junior year of high school, I spent a couple of weeks on a mission trip. Six other students, chaperones, and I drove to Juarez, Mexico. We spent a week building a house for a family, similar to Habitat for Humanity. We spent all the daylight hours that week mixing cement by hand, pouring the foundation, building a frame, stuccoing walls, and laying shingles. To this day I still consider this not only the hardest work I have ever done but the most inspiring and eye-opening as well. We built a 250-square-foot house for a family of five who thought it was the most glorious thing they could ever have. When we returned the following week, I was interviewed by the local newspaper. They asked me what the most important thing I learned from the trip was. Central Catholic thought this lesson was inspiring enough to put on a billboard.
What did you like most about your experience at LCSS?
St. Boniface and CC had small classes which allowed everyone to know each other on a personal level. Everyone looked out for each other, no matter what grade level you were in, like family. I enjoyed participating in multiple sports - running cross country, along with playing basketball and softball - where at most schools it’s nearly impossible to be involved in more than one sport or activity.
Describe one of your favorite memories of LCSS.
There are too many to count. I am still in contact with most of the students who graduated from my class, and we reminisce on our favorite, and not so favorite, memories. I always enjoyed Battle of the Classes. It was time for the whole class to work together and strategize in order to gain the most points at the end of the day. I was on the flag football team for four years, which we dominated, along with representing the senior class playing euchre with Betsy (Melville) Tuholski as my partner.