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Principal of St. Patrick School retires after 12 years

Mary Piasecki’s favorite part about being principal of St. Patrick’s was the students.1 / 2
The present St. Patrick School was built in 1955, over 65 years after the first building was created. It is located on Fourth Street between St. Croix and River streets. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Alexa Hilt)2 / 2

After 12 years of hard work and dedication to St. Patrick School in Hudson, Principal Mary Piasecki is closing this rewarding chapter of her life and retiring.

Piasecki has always been interested in teaching and working with children. Even from a young age, Piasecki’s favorite childhood activity was “playing school”.

She later went on to attend St. Cloud University for her undergraduate degree in elementary education and did her graduate work in educational administration at University of Wisconsin-Superior.

The history of St. Patrick’s is dense and goes back to the late 1880s when the building of the first St. Patrick School was initiated. The first school building was built in 1889, but was later demolished to make room for a new school and gymnasium.

The present school was built in 1955, over 65 years after the first building was created. The school has been growing briskly over the years, in both size of the structure, as well as the number of students.

St. Patrick School added a wing onto the north end of the building which houses the fifth grade and middle school programs.

In 2002, Piasekci’s first year as principal, the school went through an extensive renovation because of the expanding student body. A number of new classrooms, activity rooms and computer rooms were created.

Piasecki started her career in the fall of 2002 as a principal at St. Patrick’s where she’s been watching over students from pre-school through eighth grade for the past 12 years.

The school and the people who have worked for it over the years say that they cherish the rich heritage, but their real focus is on the future. The mission of St. Patrick School is to enable students to grow in faith, wisdom, and academic excellence, while fostering a life-long relationship with God.

They have high expectations for their students and try to provide them with the skills needed to move forward in their future education.

“St. Patrick’s is a great school with high academic standards,” Piasecki said. “What sets us apart from other schools is our great faculty, staff, parents, and students. I am truly blessed to have been a part of the St. Patrick family.”

While St. Patrick School has been around for many years and will continue to be for years to come, Piasecki’s time has come to say goodbye.

Her plans after retirement are to spend more time with her family, plant in her garden, and possibly do some part-time work away from home.

Peter Knoll will take Piasecki’s place as principal at the school during the next month, but the memories that Piasecki has made from her years at St. Patrick’s will never be replaced.

“My heart is filled with many good memories,” Piasecki said. “I have enjoyed visiting with families, watching our talented students perform in school programs, athletics, and the classroom, and working with staff, but most of all, I have enjoyed the students.

"Nothing has given me more pleasure than watching the excitement of students learning, to see them master difficult tasks, to see them be of service to others, and to see their undiminished faith. I am most thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this community.”