By Kristin Boza
Over the summer, St. Walter Catholic School, 11741 S. Western, welcomed its new principal, Veronica Cash. Education is Cash’s second career. After earning a BA in Graphic Arts from Eastern Illinois University she felt called to the field of teaching. As principal of St. Walter, Cash is looking forward to ensuring the students stay strong academically in addition to keeping them safe during the pandemic.
Cash earned a MA in Teaching from Concordia University Chicago and an additional MA in Administration from Loyola University Chicago. She taught 3rd grade at her childhood Catholic elementary school, St. Edmund in Oak Park, before pursuing education leadership opportunities. Her previous positions at Catholic schools throughout Chicagoland ultimately led her to St. Walter.
“I felt like I had a new calling to grow some more professionally and interviewed at a few south side Catholic schools,” Cash said. “I am really excited to be here at St. Walter; the student community is amazing and I’m excited to learn more about the neighborhoods around our school.”
The main priority right now, as St. Walter is offering in-person instruction, is to keep the students safe and healthy. Cash and her team scoured the reopening framework from the Archdiocese of Chicago to assemble their own comprehensive health and safety plan and team.
“We went through each step set up by the Archdiocese and made sure we communicated that with our school community,” she said. “Now that we’re open, we are making sure we adhere to the rules in the framework. Our children have been great about wearing masks and following the protocol, and we’re continuing to ensure we keep ourselves as safe as we can.”
Some students declined to return to in-person learning, so the teachers are balancing their remote students with their in-person class. This is achieved through livestreaming the instruction during the day.
“Our teachers are getting really comfortable with this form of teaching and finding new ways to implement Google Classroom with both in-person and remote learners,” Cash said. “In a way, this opportunity is exciting because we’re all thinking a little differently to make things happen and trying new things that we may not have considered before the pandemic.”
Growing up in Oak Park, Cash feels a similar vibe in Beverly/Morgan Park as in her hometown. “I’ve been very happy here, and I think it says a lot about St. Walter that three of our teachers are alumni of the school! That’s definitely a testament to the school and community,” she said.
St. Walter Catholic School still has openings for in-person learning in preschool through 8th grade. Call 773-445-8850 to learn more.