Kara Rapacz, current assistant principal specializing in curriculum and instruction, has been selected as Sacred Heart-Griffin High School’s (SHG) new principal for the 2017-2018 school year. The Sherman native is a doctoral candidate in the educational leadership program at Concordia University.
“In my years at SHG, I have seen first-hand the impact that a faith-filled education can have on students and staff,” said Rapacz. “The Dominican sisters and the Viatorian priests have built a school that has become an integral part of the Springfield community. I am humbled and honored to be called upon to lead as principal of this amazing institution.”
The March 13 announcement follows a nationwide search according to Sister Katherine O’Connor, OP, president and interim principal.
“Countless hours have been spent on this search during the past several months. I am grateful for the patience, support and prayers of our dedicated faculty and staff, board of directors and especially the members of the search committee,” said Sister Katherine. “We had many great candidates, but time after time it became clear that Kara Rapacz was the best fit for Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.”
The appointment of Rapacz will mark the first time a lay person has headed the Catholic high school.
“This is an exciting time for us Dominicans as we entrust our treasured institution to lay leadership,” Sister Katherine continued. “We have partnered with lay teachers for many years and it is now time to pass the torch of the role of principal on to a lay person. I am confident that Kara’s deep faith and love for the Dominican charism will compel her to deepen the Catholic, Dominican identity of Sacred Heart-Griffin.”
As assistant principal, Rapacz has lead faculty in creation of curriculum maps as well as the process of aligning those maps within specific content areas and grade levels. She has also worked to create a system to analyze standardized test data to determine growth of individual students. She was instrumental in the AdvancED accreditation review last fall as well as the recent audits conducted by the state of Illinois and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Rapacz will assume her new role as principal of SHG on July 1.
Prior to serving as assistant principal, Rapacz was director of academic support services at SHG from 2008-2013. In this role, she oversaw programming for students with learning differences. From 2003-2008, Rapacz served as a special education teacher at Riverton High School.
She and her husband, Chris, and three children reside in Springfield and are members of St. Agnes Parish.