By MARDESSA SMITH, Special to the Bulletin | Published August 8, 2019
ATLANTA—As the 2019-2020 school year gets underway, three archdiocesan schools welcome new principals.
Peter Schultz will serve as principal of Christ the King School in Atlanta; Shaun Bland at St. Thomas More in Decatur; and Sister Mary Cecilia Goodrum, OP, at St. Catherine of Siena School in Kennesaw.
Each of the new principals shared thoughts with The Georgia Bulletin on their new roles.
Peter Schultz, Christ the King School, Atlanta
No stranger to Georgia, Peter Schultz was most recently the principal of the lower school at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta. He will serve as the new principal of Christ the King School in Atlanta, which opened in 1937.
“It is a great gift and blessing to be in Catholic schools,” said Schultz. “Catholic schools are committed to the complete formation of every child in mind, body and spirit.”
Schultz earned a certificate of advanced studies in administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, a Master of Science in education from the State University of New York at Cortland and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
Schultz has been in education for 27 years, recently completing his 14th year in Catholic education.
His Catholic school leadership experience began as headmaster of Saint John Academy in McLean, Virginia. He was also principal of Saints John and Paul Catholic School in Larchmont, New York before joining the staff at Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta.
“I am very excited to be a part of Christ the King School and look forward to a great school year,” he said.
Schultz and his wife, Kristen, have eight children; three in college, one a sophomore at St. Pius X High School and four who will attend Christ the King School.
Shaun Bland, St. Thomas More School, Decatur
Shaun Bland, incoming principal of St. Thomas More School in Decatur, became interested in teaching after volunteering at her children’s preschool.
“As a Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition, the most important ideal being taught to the students is to find God‘s presence in all things,” said Bland. We are looking forward to implementing a new merit system this year that will help to focus our attention on seeing the good in each other.”
She holds a Master of Education degree from Georgia Southern University, a teaching certificate from Brenau University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in child development from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Bland also completed graduate coursework in business management at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Bland brings six years of administrative experience as both an assistant principal and as the curriculum coordinator of Christ the King School in Atlanta, as well as 17 years of teaching experience at St. Jude the Apostle School in Sandy Springs.
“It is now my privilege to serve as principal of St. Thomas More. I am impressed by the energy in the community, and the enthusiastic and dedicated staff,” she said.
Bland is married and has four adult children, one grandson and a granddaughter arriving any day. She and her husband enjoy reading, hiking, birding and travel.
Sister Mary Cecilia Goodrum, OP, St. Catherine of Siena School, Kennesaw
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Sister Mary Cecilia Goodrum, OP, will serve as the new principal of St. Catherine School in Kennesaw, which opened in 2002.
Sister Mary Cecilia attended Catholic school where she was educated by the Dominican Sisters of Nashville of St. Cecilia Congregation. This encounter of faith and reason each day in an environment that encourages students to share and discuss their faith, made for a fertile ground for hearing God’s call to religious life.
“This year, I hope to get to know the students and family,” said Sister Mary Cecilia. “We have an outstanding faculty at St. Catherine of Siena, and I am grateful to work with them for the good of these students.”
Sister Mary Cecilia holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education administration, Bible studies and counseling psychology.
She joined the St. Cecilia congregation in 1990 after a brief time in college. She served in schools in Denver, Cincinnati, Chicago, New Orleans, Birmingham and several cities in Tennessee both as a teacher and administrator from preschool to college.
“I have loved every school where I have worked, but it is very special to work at a school whose patron is a Dominican sister and doctress of the church,” she said. “If I could have one goal, it would be to help our students know this too.”