The grand experiment is coming to an end with great success, and Southington Catholic School is preparing to take the school to the next level. Co-Pastors Father Ronald May and Father Nicholas Melo recently announced the appointment of Eileen Sampiere as the new school principal. She is currently the principal of Corpus Christi School in Wethersfield.
The announcement comes as Southington Catholic School is marking the completion of its inaugural year. The facility at 133 Bristol Street opened in August 2015 as the merger of two area Catholic schools into one vibrant, financially viable school community on a single campus.
The formation of Southington Catholic School was initiated by the leadership of St. Dominic and St. Thomas Parishes in consultation with the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools and a steering committee with broad representation from both schools.
The position became available when current principal, MaryPat Wirkus, announced her retirement as of June 30. Wirkus. School officials said that her experienced stewardship was instrumental for the school’s success as she led the smooth transitional year.
“Mrs. Wirkus successfully led the new school in establishing new traditions that serve the students enrolled from all Southington parishes,” officials said in a recent press release.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair referred to the transition as a model for Catholic school education in the future.
Now, officials will look to Sampiere to continue the growth of the local school. During her 24-year tenure at Corpus Christi, Sampiere is credited with implementing major renovations and additions to the school, increasing enrollment, and shepherding Corpus Christi to its status as a National Blue Ribbon School. Having been honored by both the National Catholic Educational Association and by the Archdiocese of Hartford as a distinguished principal, Sampiere’s commitment to Catholic school education is well known.
She has served on many key Archdiocesan committees and has been a respected mentor to other Catholic school principals throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford. Her experience will be instrumental as Southington Catholic School looks to grow its enrollment.
“The hallmarks of Eileen Sampiere’s service to the Archdiocese are a passion for Catholic school education, a sincere love of children, and the desire to partner with parents in the development of their children in a safe, nurturing, faith-filled environment,” Maria Maynard, deputy superintendent for the Office of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Hartford, said in the release.
Sampiere will begin her new position on July 1.