Junior high hires new principal for 2019-2020 school year

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Junior high hires new principal for 2019-2020 school year

BSM's junior high will be under the leadership of Ms. Rikki Mortl starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

BSM's junior high will be under the leadership of Ms. Rikki Mortl starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

Lexi Basil

BSM's junior high will be under the leadership of Ms. Rikki Mortl starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

Lexi Basil

Lexi Basil

BSM's junior high will be under the leadership of Ms. Rikki Mortl starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

Jackie Bucaro, Staff Writer

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Hired in mid-May, Ms. Rikki Mortl is BSM’s new junior high principal. Mortl previously worked at Our Lady of Grace, as their vice principal. She will be replacing Ms. Claire Shea, who is leaving BSM to teach internationally in Kuwait.

Mortl grew up in Wisconsin, but she has a history here in Minnesota: she spent 14 years working at Our Lady of Grace. Before her position as OLG’s vice principal, she also worked there as a science teacher, STEM director, and Learning Specialist. “I love to meet and be with people. One of my favorite things about OLG is the relationships that I have formed and the people (students, staff, parents, etc). I hope to do the same at BSM,” Mortl said.

The current junior high principal, Claire Shea, was not involved in the interview process to select a new principal. However, she is aware of the basic qualities that the interviewers, including BSM president Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut and senior high principal Dr. Susan Skinner, were looking for in a candidate. “[They] wanted someone who works really well with junior high students specifically…  someone who has a lot of energy and a lot of excitement about being a school leader and leading with our team,” Shea said.

My hope is that the BSM Junior High is a place where students are challenged academically, spiritually and socially [and] where all students and staff feel listened to and welcomed.”

— Ms. Rikki Mortl

In her enthusiasm for her new position, Mortl shows that she can fulfill these expectations. “There are already many wonderful things going on in the junior high, and I would like to build on those. My hope is that the BSM Junior High is a place where students are challenged academically, spiritually and socially [and] where all students and staff feel listened to and welcomed,” Mortl said.

Another important requirement is that the junior high principal is Catholic. Mortl is very strong in her Catholic faith, and she believes her own personal theology will help her in her new position. “I generally try to see the best in every person, and I know that everyone has potential and we’re all made in the image and likeness of God… that will be at the root of all my conversations with kids and students,” Mortl said.

Shea and Mortl have taken similar paths in their professional careers. They both began as teachers, moved to mid-level leadership positions, and ended up as principals. The parallels between them are not limited to their professional lives, but can also be seen in their personalities. “We both have more outgoing personalities and we enjoy working and  talking and meeting… building relationships and everything, it’s kind of at the center of who we are,” Mortl said.

Mortl officially starts during the summer, but BSM students won’t get to know her until the 2019-2020 school year. She will be able to implement her own ideas for the BSM junior high. “I’m so excited to see how she makes changes around how we function as a school based on what’s best for students and what’s best for middle school students,” Shea said.

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