by Cori Hilsgen
St. John’s Prep’s 281 students in fifth-grade to 12th-grade were welcomed by new leadership for the 2019-20 school year.
Jon McGee was named the new head of school in March. He is the first lay leader of the school following 29 monastic members of St. John’s Abbey, who have led the school since it was founded in 1857.
“We ask students to commit themselves to creating a welcoming community for all, to accept challenge and change, to learn to serve, to grow spiritually and to strive for excellence in all they do,” McGee wrote in a letter he recently sent to parents. “I prefer to think of school as a kind of “imaginarium,” where every day – not just the first day – we get to ask and answer three questions: IMAGINE what I can learn today, IMAGINE what I can do today and IMAGINE who I can be today. As we begin this new year, we encourage all of our students to reach beyond the temple of their familiar or comfort zone, to try something new or something they are not already good at, to create, to invent, to reimagine.”
McGee brings academic leadership and college preparation skills to his position. He graduated from St. John’s University in 1984 and earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Minneapolis, in 1988.
In 1999, McGee joined the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University administration as the director of institutional planning and research after leadership positions at the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Department of Finance. His work at the colleges has included planning and strategy, enrollment, communications and public affairs.
He and his wife, Ann, live in Cold Spring and have four children. Two have graduated from St. John’s Prep and two are attending the school.
Christine Glomski is the new principal working with McGee at St. John’s Prep. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, a master of education degree from St. Mary’s University-Twin Cities campus, a doctorate in education from Hamline University, St. Paul, and has superintendent licensure from St. Cloud State University.
“My hope for our students is they take advantage of the unique opportunities at St. John’s Prep including varsity athletics, special-interest activities and fine arts,” Glomski said. “I hope they build strong relationships with both their teachers and classmates.”
Glomski brings 10 years of administrative experience in educational programming, setting instructional direction and curriculum evaluation. She also has experience with post-secondary and career guidance for high school students.
Glomski served as principal of Becker Intermediate in Becker, assistant principal and principal of Independence and Liberty Elementary in Big Lake and as dean of students at Forest Lake High School in Forest Lake.
“My 10 years of experience as a principal in other schools compliments the school’s strong commitment to preparing students for service and success in a global society,” Glomski said. “My genuine love of the Prep School means I bring a special energy and passion to campus each day. I am thrilled for this new year and opportunities it brings to myself, our students and our faculty.”
This year, the school has added a fifth-grade pilot program to its middle school. The new pilot program integrates fifth- and sixth-grades to develop strong writing skills, language basics, fine arts and offers a chance for students to progress at higher math levels.
“I am excited these young students get to truly experience the Prep experience that includes meaningful learning opportunities in a gorgeous outdoor setting – we’re located in the middle of the St. John’s Abbey Arboretum,” Glomski said. “For example, language arts, science and other classes are often held outside. Our students are outside every day, in all types of weather. I hope to build their appreciation of the natural environment while experiencing the full comprehensive curriculum we offer including world languages, science and our incredible fine arts program.”
Like McGee, Glomski is also a St. John’s Prep parent with three children currently enrolled at the school.
According to Jill Pauly, director of communications and events, this year’s students at St. John’s Prep School are from 14 countries and five states. International students represented one-third of the students in ninth- through 12th-grade. Of 222 Minnesota students, about 30 percent are from St. Cloud. Most of the rest come from St. Joseph, Sartell and Cold Spring. There are 107 students in fifth- through eighth-grade and 174 students in ninth- through 12th-grade. Seventy-five percent of the school’s faculty and staff have an advanced degree, master’s or higher.
Author: Cori Hilsgen
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.