Mrs. Lown Introduction to St. Mary’s

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July 10, 2018

Dear Parents and Friends of St. Mary’s,

It is with great pride and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the new principal of St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School.  I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a school with such a rich tradition of spiritual strength and academic excellence, as well as the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated faculty and staff.  I am thankful to Ms. Ann Hamlet and her service to St. Mary’s the past four years, and I look forward to building upon the wonderful foundation she and past principals have established.  I am thankful as well to Father Justin for his years of love and dedication to the parish and school, and look forward to building a strong partnership with Father Joe as we look ahead to the future of our beloved school.

Although my role as St. Mary’s principal is new, my teaching career spans decades and I have been privileged to teach students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade.  Whether I have been teaching handwriting skills and skip counting to Pre-K students or critical thinking skills related to American history and government to high school seniors, my goal as an educator has remained constant: to nurture, inspire, and educate children in a way that they can make the most of their own unique abilities and find joy in learning.  My classroom has always be a positive, productive, and nurturing place of discovery and growth, and I am excited to bring this same passion for children and learning to St. Mary’s.  My most recent teaching experience has been as a first grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, where I have been part of the parent and teaching community for 16 years.

On a personal level, my husband Doug and I recently celebrated our 30th anniversary, and I moved to Carthage after we were married in 1988.  I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and Tulsa, OK and my Catholic faith has always been one of the most important parts of my life. Doug and I have been blessed with two children, Laurel and Andrew, who are 21 and 18, respectively.  Laurel is a rising college senior at St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame majoring in biology and plans to attend dental school after she completes her undergraduate degree.  She will soon return from a research grant funded by the National Science Foundation in Nepal where she is studying ground water toxicity in order to help stabilize the drinking water in remote areas of the country.  Andrew is a rising college freshman at The University of Notre Dame majoring in aerospace engineering.  We have just returned from vacation where he combined two passions of his—car design and golf—for a memorable overseas graduation trip.  In my free time, I enjoy playing golf, spending time at the lake with my family, traveling, working on various home and garden projects, and baking cookies.  Our family is a member of the St. Peter the Apostle community.

In choosing St. Mary’s for your child’s education, you have made a commitment to nurture not only your child’s intellect, talents, and physical strength, but also their faith, morals, and values.  While all schools provide academic instruction, St. Mary’s provides an education experience that nurtures the entire child.  This experience is not only a great privilege, it is a great responsibility, and one that the faculty and staff at St. Mary’s strongly believes in.  Please know that I highly value home and school communication. This communication between parents, teachers, and administrators is vital and plays an integral role in each student’s success.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or myself when a question or need arises, and our faculty and staff will do likewise.  We want to encourage all parents to stay updated about their child’s studies, assignments, assessments, and school activities, as well as other St. Mary’s events and happenings.

All of us St. Mary’s are eager and excited to begin what promises to be a very positive and productive year together!  This year we will continue to provide academic experiences for our students that are rigorous, relevant, and build relationships.  As principal, it is important to me that everyone who steps through our doors—students, parents, teachers, our parish family, and community members—are excited to be here!  This attitude will enable us to meet the challenges of academic excellence in a positive, fun, and nurturing environment.  The faculty and staff of St. Mary’s will continue to offer students the opportunity to grow and thrive in a caring, faith-based, values driven community.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to bring all that I have learned and experienced as an educator with me to St. Mary’s.  I am looking forward to meeting you and getting to know your family.  If you are near campus this summer, please stop by and say hello. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.


Joanne Lown

Joanne Lown

St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School

3025 South Central City Road

Joplin, MO  64804

(417) 623-1465

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