Starting this month, St. Jude School has a new principal. Principal Jeanne Rossi is retiring, and Sister Ellen Fischer will be at the helm next year.
A graduate of St. Jude and Bishop Hoban, Sister Ellen has taught at all grade levels and spent the last seventeen years as an administrator. She moved back to the mountain last year and found herself back where it all began when she began work at the St. Jude Parish Center.
“Who would have ever thought I’d be back to my own parish and school,” reflected Sister Ellen. “This is the school that educated and nurtured me and now it’s my chance to give back. It’s a great mountain and community and I am looking forward to working with the faculty and the parents to continue the academic excellence and the faith formation of our children.”
Sister Ellen belongs to the Sisters of Christian Charity, an order of nuns dedicated to healthcare and education. At one time, the Sisters of Christian Charity had a large presence in the school as teachers, but Sister Ellen now returns as the only one. Both she and Mrs. Rossi hope that this marks a trend back to having nuns as teachers at St. Jude. Sister Ellen said it was a natural choice for her to enter the convent, as she was always impressed by their “cheerfulness, joy and their service to God and to children.”
Although the transition officially took place on July 1, Mrs. Rossi will stay on for a time to help in the transition. In that time, Sister Ellen will be “learning the ropes” over the summer and preparing to start the new school year. There is, of course, much to do in a very short amount of time and that workload is compounded by the need to learn a new building and about new people, from students to teachers to parents to staff. Sr. Ellen says she is looking forward to working with everyone and having the support of the parish and Fr. Joe, Fr. Gerry and Deacon Gene. Mrs. Rossi has also promised to remain no more than a “phone call away”.
For her part, Sister Ellen says she feels blessed by the transition with Mrs. Rossi and she does not plan any immediate changes to the school, but rather is looking forward to continuing its academic excellence.