By Celine Klosterman
WEST POINT – A man who taught at a predecessor to Holy Trinity Catholic Schools is now the building coordinator of Holy Trinity Catholic Elementary.
Michael Sheerin began work this summer at the K-6 school, 27 years after beginning a five-year stint teaching at Aquinas Catholic Schools in Fort Madison. Beginning in the 2005-06 academic year, those schools merged with Marquette schools in Lee County to form Holy Trinity.
As “acting principal,” Sheerin said he is responsible for supervising teachers and handling other administrative duties. He is working on a master’s degree in educational administration through the University of Iowa.
A native of Ireland, he attended boys’ Catholic schools there before coming to the United States in 1981 with the intent of playing soccer professionally. While staying with relatives in Lee County, he met his future wife, Shelley, whom he married in 1983.
Sheerin graduated from Southeastern Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. He later received a master’s degree in science education from the University of Iowa.
He began his teaching career at Aquinas in 1985, then taught at Central Lee Schools, Iowa Wesleyan College and, most recently, in the Harmony Community School District. He has coached soccer at Holy Trinity for six years.
“I want to make this school the center of the community,” Sheerin said. He said he’s starting a professional directory of local experts such as doctors and farmers who can come speak to Holy Trinity classes. “This will let youngsters see the importance of the people in their community.”
He said he also is ordering iPads for teachers and students and working to secure new playground equipment. His duties include writing individualized education plans for students with special needs.
“Michael brings energy and enthusiasm to everything that he does,” said Gary Hoyer, president of Holy Trinity’s Board of Education. “He is a champion of Catholic education, and his leadership at Holy Trinity Elementary will be an inspiration to students, staff and parents. Most importantly, his vision for our elementary school is fresh, exciting and one that will ensure that our students get the best education possible using the most innovative technology available.”
Sheerin’s wife, Shelley, is communications coordinator for Holy Trinity. The couple has three daughters: Michaela, who is beginning her first year of teaching at Bridgeview Elementary in LeClaire; Haley, a student at Western Illinois University; and Maille, a fifth-grader at Holy Trinity.
He succeeds former principal Theresa Twaddle, who had begun work at Holy Trinity in 2011.
The elementary school had 150 students in the 2011-12 academic year.