By Celine Klosterman
The associate principal at Prince of Peace Academy and College Preparatory in Clinton has been named the new principal at St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt.
Sharon Roling begins work Oct. 24 at St. Joseph, which has 203 students in preschool to eighth grade.
“She’s a very faith-filled woman who came highly recommended,” said Father Paul Connolly, pastor of St. Joseph Parish. Her academic background and experience at Prince of Peace also made her the best choice out of many quality applicants, he said.
Roling has worked for 12 years in roles including high-school religion teacher, campus minister and director of student services at Prince of Peace, which has 286 students in preschool to 12th grade. She taught special education in Clinton public schools for six years and has served as youth minister for Prince of Peace Parish.
A graduate of Catholic schools in Dubuque, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1983. In 2005, she received a master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology from The Franciscan University in Clinton. This year she earned a second master’s degree, in educational leadership from St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
Roling said she applied to St. Joseph after her husband, Steve, bought an accounting practice in Davenport last year. “We began thinking about other places where I might like to work. DeWitt was on our list.
“My goal is to continue to build upon the Catholic tradition which St. Joseph Catholic School has established for itself in creating life-long learners who are deeply rooted in their Catholic faith.”
In a letter to Prince of Peace, Roling shared that it will feel bittersweet to leave the Clinton school where faculty and staff showed how to bring Christian joy to education. “There is a special, permanent place in my heart for the Irish of Prince of Peace,” she wrote.
She and Steve, who have been married for 25 years, have two sons who graduated from Prince of Peace. Luke is in his first year of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working on his doctorate in chemical engineering. Mark is at Clinton Community College, with an undeclared major.
Roling will take over for Lola Blaser, who has been serving as interim principal since August. Blaser did not apply for the position as permanent principal and will return to her previous role at St. Joseph as a teacher of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math and religion. “I feel fortunate to have been able to help out when it was needed, but my heart is really in the classroom,” Blaser said.