Bishop Richard E. Pates of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines told ThePerryNews.com Friday that St. Patrick Catholic School in Perry has hired a new principal for the 2018-2019 school year, and the bishop praised outgoing St. Pat’s Principal Eddie Diaz “for all he contributed to the school efforts” in his brief two-year stint at the head of the school.
Pates said Kandice Roethler has been hired as the new principal. Roethler comes to St. Pat’s from Holy Trinity Catholic School in Des Moines, where she is currently the assistant principal.
“She’s a very good educator,” said Pates, who announced his own retirement in February. “The school is fortunate to be able to get her young, energetic service.”
Roethler earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Iowa in 2011 and a doctoral degree in educational psychology from Drake University in 2017. She taught students in the talented-and-gifted program at Colo Nesco Community School District from 2013 to 2016 and has been at Holy Trinity Catholic School since 2016.
“Her family has been very involved in Catholic education,” Pates said. “I believe her mother was a principal, too, in Michigan, so she’s had a lot of experience that way.”
Many St. Patrick School parents were surprised and saddened to learn that the popular Diaz did not accept the contract he was offered for next year. His tenure as principal took a tumultuous turn last August when he was dismissed from his position but later reinstated after a petition with some 650 signatures of parents and parishioners was presented to the bishop.
In a farewell letter Diaz sent to parents in the wake of his decision earlier this month, he said, “My family and I love Perry and hope to continue making it our home. I appreciate the trust that parents placed in us by sending their students to our little school and all the support that the community has given St. Patrick School.”