SOUTH LOOP — Old St. Mary's School's first eighth-grade class will start with a new principal later this month.
Julie Kadrich comes to the school at 1474 S. Michigan Ave. from Delavan, Wis., where she was the principal at St. Andrew's Parish School.
"It is a very small rural community, so this is a very big change for me, but it's exciting," Kadrich said at the new school building, which opened last year. The school began in 2004 in space at the church with just preschool offered. It has been adding classes since, with eighth grade new this year.
"It's really an exciting year to start," said Kadrich, who grew up in the Northwest suburbs. "I mean, to graduate the first class from the full pre-K through middle school program, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary. ... I just want to continue the great faith-structured academic program that we have. I've got big shoes to fill."
Since her early years as a student at Queen of the Rosary in Elk Grove Village, Kadrich said always knew she wanted to be a teacher — which she was for 24 years, before getting a master's degree in educational policy at Marquette University.
Kadrich said she's thrilled to return to the Chicago area, and is looking forward to learning more about the South Loop.
"I've met so many enthusiastic people. It's such a vibrant community," she said. "Lots of wonderful and involved parents, the staff has been great. I couldn't have stepped into a better position, really."
Classes resume at Old St. Mary's on Aug. 27.