Welcome to the St. Margaret of Scotland school website and, particularly, to the principal’s page. Having completed a decade as principal at St. Margaret of Scotland School, I am excited by our accomplishments.
We have long since completed our carefully designed 2009 School Improvement Plan which guided our learning community towards growth in thinking and learning, relationship building with one another and ever closer to God. We are now ready to tackle our 2015 School Improvement Plan which challenges us to critically examine and revise our emergency plan for the safety of our students and their teachers; to review and revise how we guide our students in prayerful retreats and meaningful service; to design a system of peer observations so that teachers can further support one another in professional development; and, finally, to critically research and very likely move from an antiquated form of grading and reporting grades to a system that is directly aligned with our curriculum, informs and guides in learning, and accurately reports student progress to their parents. The School Improvement process is overseen by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and is necessary for maintaining accreditation as an educational institution within the state of Missouri.
Our students, with the guidance and support of an exemplary faculty and staff, have earned numerous academic awards, participated in service activities during and beyond school hours, enjoyed a variety of fine arts opportunities, and have grown in their friendships to one another and God.
Our parents have spread the word that St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School is a community into whose caring hands parents can entrust their children. Our enrollment has continued to steadily grow this past decade; in August of 2016 we enrolled 471 children in our preschool through eighth grade. The 2016 school year welcomed 3 preschool classrooms and 2 of each homeroom from kindergarten through 8th grade. Needless to say we have used every available space including our new middle school building with its 5 classrooms and 1 twentyfirst century science lab. Our growth in enrollment, staff and facilities has only enhanced our high quality of teaching and learning.
After a decade, my bottom line goal remains very much the same as it was when I first began – that each child will learn and experience success as a student in a faith-based, learning environment. On this point I am adamant! Fortunately, I am supported in my goal by a newly hired and very competent assistant principal, by a very dedicated and qualified faculty, by parents who truly care about their children’s educational community, and, most importantly, by students who love learning in the safety and comfort of the St. Margaret of Scotland learning enrivonment.
I hope you, the reader of this page, will continue to browse our website, get to know us online and, perhaps even, stop by to meet us in person. But, fair warning, I am passionate about our school community – I might talk your ear off!
It is with extreme gratitude to my faculty and staff and to our students and their parents that I look forward to another successful school year,
Juliann DePalma Hesed
Proud Principal, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School
Juliann DePalma Hesed brings a wealth of experience in Catholic education to her position as principal. Previous to her role as principal at St. Margaret’s, she was principal for eight years at St. Mary Magdalen School in Brentwood. As a teacher, Ms. Hesed taught theology at Incarnate Word Academy, an all girls, Catholic High school in north county. A few IWA alum have chosen St. Margaret’s for their children. Before that, Ms. Hesed was employed at St. Margaret of Scotland School where she taught Religion to seventh and eighth graders, planned retreats, taught computer education to Kindergarten through eighth grade and designed and taught a gifted program for children in second through eighth grade.
Ms. Hesed earned her Masters in School Administration and her Masters in Theology from St. Louis University. She also holds a BA in Theology with a minor in English.
Ms. Hesed and her husband Peter, with their children, have loved living in the Shaw neighborhood and being members of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish for over 30 years. Before becoming principal, Ms. Hesed worked closely with St. Margaret’s RCIA team as they instructed non-Catholics in the tenets of the Catholic faith; she remains an active participant in the St. Vincent De Paul Society making bi-weekly deliveries of food to neighbors in need.
When not at school, Ms. Hesed always enjoys just being at home with her family. Second to that she likes zoning away in front of the TV, Call the Midwife is a favorite, or reading a good book, especially a good mystery.. Her favorite author is a toss-up between Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver, which doesn’t deny how much she has enjoyed reading the Harry Potter and Eragon series.
More than anything, Ms. Hesed is passionate about children being guided to grow closer to God, to think deeply, and to build and enjoy friendships – and to bring their families along on that sacred journey.