LEMONT – Kim Sekulich has decades of experience in education, but her new job as principal of Everest Academy in Lemont is her first time at a private school.
She started July 15 after most recently serving as principal for eight years at Taft School in Lockport.
Everest Academy will have 265 students this year from more than 20 towns in pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.
Sekulich talked with Lemont Suburban Life's Dan Farnham about what she expects as a new leader of the private school.
Farnham: What brought you to work at a private school for the first time?
Sekulich: I'm Catholic. I graduated from a Catholic elementary school, a Catholic high school, a Catholic college. I am very excited to be a part of the Everest family. Everest is a new school. Everest in this location has been open for five years. I'm very much looking forward to building upon the accomplishments and helping Everest move forward.
Farnham: What is the difference between being the principal at a private school as opposed to a public school?
Sekulich: In both public schools and private schools, funding is always a challenge. In public schools, the biggest sources of funding come from property taxes and general state aide. In a private school, for Everest, the sources of funding come from tuition and fundraising.
Farnham: Was there anything in particular about Everest that attracted you?
Sekulich: ... The emphasis on academic excellence is extremely important. Providing personalized and rigorous learning experiences for students is something that I am such a strong advocate of. Everest is to be commended for its commitment to academic excellence, spiritual development, character development and service.
Farnham: What is Everest Academy's role in the Lemont community?
Sekulich: Everest Academy's role is to really help bring the community together in a spirit of charity, and the Christmas service project is an outstanding way to do that. The Lemont community is a very caring and active community. Everest and the Lemont community will work together again to make the community even stronger.
Farnham: What is your day-to-day job going to be like?
Sekulich: My focus will be to continue to have high academic standards and to continue to work to enhance student spiritual development, academic development, character development and service … I will be very eager to work with the staff and the families and the students.
Farnham: Have you had the opportunity to meet with families?
Sekulich: I have had the opportunity to meet with families. They have been most gracious and welcoming. Many parents have come in to meet with me. Then on Sunday, we had a farewell Mass and reception for Ms. [Christine] Gamache, the principal who will be leaving Everest. Again, they were so welcoming, and it is a blessing and a pleasure to be a part of the Everest family.