By Celine Klosterman
OTTUMWA – The co-director of distance learning and English as a Second Language at William Penn University in Oskaloosa has taken the job of principal at Seton Catholic School.
Julieanne Gentz will serve at the prekindergarten to fifth-grade school beginning in the 2012-13 academic year.
“Mrs. Gentz has a diverse background in education experiences, a great enthusiasm for learning and a skill set that is required of a good administrator,” said Joe Miller, president of Seton’s board of education. “She interviewed well, had great references, and has had many accomplishments in education throughout her career thus far.”
During her 30 years in education, Gentz has worked as a teacher or program coordinator at public schools throughout eastern Iowa. From 1990-91, she taught first grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic Schools in Bellevue. In addition to her current administrative position at William Penn, she has served there as an adjunct professor of language courses and elementary math methods since 2007.
She earned an M.A. in educational administration from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in elementary education from Wartburg College in Waverly.
Her time at St. Joseph’s came to mind when the opportunity to serve at Seton opened up. Teaching at the Bellevue school “was one of the most fulfilling educational experiences I have been privileged to have,” she said. “I was impressed by the dedication of the teachers, as well as the involvement of the parents. I loved the fact that faith was an integral part of the curriculum as well as in the hallways, on the playground, and in the lunch room. I learned many valuable lessons during my time as a first-grade teacher there, and the chance to revisit those lessons, as well as work in an educational leadership role with students, faculty, parents and the Church again was an exciting prospect for me!”
Gentz said she has hopes of “seeing the visibility of the school in Ottumwa become more prominent, helping the enrollment grow, and keeping a strong Catholic identity and presence in the community. Ottumwa is very fortunate to have Seton as a private, Church-affiliated option for children, and I intend to carry out and build on the tradition of educational excellence that has been started by previous administrations.”
Seton had 63 students in kindergarten to fifth grade and 51 prekindergarten students in fall 2011.
Gentz’ husband, Brian Gentz, is a chaplain at the Good Samaritan campus in Ottumwa. Her children are Heidi Cullinan of Ames, Holli Klein of Austria, Hans Hoerschelman of Iowa City and Hillari Hoerschelman of Texas, as well as stepson Adam Gentz of Seattle.
Julieanne Gentz takes over for Principal Duane Siepker, who began work at Seton in 2010. He is returning to his former position as principal of St. Thomas Aquinas School in Webster City.