Monday, July 15, 2024

Father Jack & Lindsay Maricle chat about her role as principal



Father Jack: This is Lindsay Maricle, I’m happy to introduce her to our community.

She’s a Tulsa native. For college and the first part of her professional career, she went out of state. I’m happy to see her return to Tulsa.


Lindsay, what attracted you to the School of Saint Mary? Why come back to Tulsa?

Lindsay: Family is everything to me. I’ve been away for about 25 years. When my life changed paths recently, I wanted to come home to Tulsa.

What drew me to the School of Saint Mary was my daughter. I drove her around Tulsa to several of the different school campuses so she could see where she could potentially go to school. She chose the School of Saint Mary. I fell in love with the spirit of the community that’s here – especially at Mass. I started praying that the position would come open.


And God listened. Maureen Clements discerned it was time to retire. What was the process to search for a principal?

FJ: We’re grateful to Maureen for her work serving the school community, and for her fidelity to Catholic Education. When she and I talked, I was asking Ms Clements, “When do you want to announce your decision?” “What are the next steps?”

So, the parish formed a search committee and developed a comprehensive role profile – a job description. The role profile set high expectations for the future principal. Committee members laughed, “How many people are we hiring?” when they read the final version of the role profile.

I heard through the grapevine that Lindsay was a great principal. Looking back, it seems as if one of us was stalking the other. In fact, both of us were looking for the other.

Lindsay was one of many excellent applicants. Lindsay fit well the expectations of the role profile. The fit has been phenomenal.


What are some examples of some of the things that you were looking for?

FJ: Her faith was evident – a big part of her life. She demonstrates organizational leadership. She can work well with people. She’s available to families of the students.

When the search committee compared Lindsay’s interview responses against the role profile, we checked all the boxes: check, check, check.


Lindsay, was the role profile intimidating?

LM: No, not really because I felt it was written for me. I am a strong believer in karma and that God will take me down the path I need to take.

When my daughter chose the School of Saint Mary, I filled out the parent paperwork saying I’m interested in the school. Maureen emailed me back and said the principal position may be open soon. Everything fell into place.

Had I not been in that mindset, the role profile might have been a little intimidating. Search committee facilitator John Hanisch was working with me, and he said I should have some examples of how my previous work as a principal meets the expectations found in the role profile. I found it easy to find examples because it was written in the same way that I think about education – especially Catholic education.


This must be an interesting month for you as you reach the conclusion of one school year at St. Agnes Cathedral School and now you’ve got this adventure to take on.

LM: I was so excited when I was hired that I jumped in head-first versus feet-first. I’ve been working with a lot of the staff here as we exchanged emails all throughout May. Leaving my former school is hard because it was my home and those were my people. But allowing myself to jump in to the School of Saint Mary is helping that transition.

My last day at St. Agnes was sad and really weepy but everybody there was excited for me to finally be with my husband in Tulsa after nine months apart. They were just so excited for the School of Saint Mary to get me and for me to get Saint Mary. I think they were worried that I was going to move and not have a school family. The fact that I found one makes a perfect end to that part of my story.

FJ: Even though we had some other great candidates, it really was Lindsay who fit to a “T” what we were looking for. So whether it’s God’s Providence or karma, I believe this was meant to be.


Going back to your Tulsa roots, where did you go to grade school and high school?

LM: I went to Saint Pius X. Monsignor Dorney was my parish priest growing up. He was in charge of my early sacramental life, so it’s fun to reconnect. I went to high school at Bishop Kelley, and I stay in contact as an alum. All my family is here; they haven’t moved away. We’re still pretty connected here because my mom, all her siblings, and all of my generation attended Catholic schools in the area. I was baptized at Christ the King.

FJ (smiling): We’re winning Lindsay over to Saint Mary.


What are some of your hopes for the School of Saint Mary?

FJ: For me, I look at our kids – our graduates – who do so well academically. We have had a lot of stability with the teachers over the years. Our kids are the good kids. The whole community is part of that.

I think the future is about capitalizing on those strengths. I’m hopeful listening to Lindsay talk about various aspects of education. She stays up-to-date; she’s looking ahead; she’s casting a vision to accomplish the next step. We already have it so great. We can try new things, but we will also maintain our level of excellence.

LM: I think the beauty of Catholic Schools is the tradition, and the spiritual life at the core of the experience. In the coming years I would like to bring some of the newer types of educational concepts. I think the greatest deficit as a Catholic community is that we don’t brag on our kids often enough. My goal is getting parents involved and getting our church family and school family to become one big happy family.

I have a passion for middle school. That’s a hard time for kiddos. I think that we need to connect them with mentors who will help them grow. I asked a school parent recently, “Do you think that there are some older parishioners who would help me maybe with a woodworking class?”

It’s all about STEM: building, engineering. Our kids are already strong in science and music. Technology is where I’m putting a lot of emphasis because many of our graduates will go to the engineering, science, or medical fields. My short-term vision is introducing them to many facets of those fields.

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