Holy Family names new principal

Jake Aubert, principal of Holy Family Catholic School

Holy Family Catholic School Assistant Principal Jacob Aubert will become the school’s principal this June.

Aubert, 37, will replace current principal Ann Ashwood, who announced her resignation last month after nine years as head of the school.

Ashwood plans to take a six-month sabbatical later this year at the Nazareth Convent and Academy in Concordia, Kan.

Holy Family’s board of directors offered Aubert the principal job on Feb. 16, and he accepted last week. The board selected Aubert for the position after reviewing detailed applications from five applicants.

Candidates provided a lengthy essay that detailed their school governance philosophies.

Board member Rev. John Farley of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church said some candidates offered “generic” answers in the essay, while others were specific, but their philosophy did not match what the board was looking for in a candidate. Aubert’s application, though, fit the board’s ideal.

“It was clear on the face of it Jake has the perspective and the skills we’re looking for,” Farley said.

Aubert taught U.S. history at Holy Family from fall 2003 through spring 2006, then taught at Grand Junction High School for two years before returning to Holy Family as its assistant principal.

He earned his teaching degree from the University of Colorado in 1997 and earned a master’s in school administration and professional leadership from Regis University in 2010.

Aubert was a rancher before teaching at Holy Family and decided to return to the classroom after a drought in 2002. He said he and his wife, Jennifer, have grown increasingly involved in Holy Family since their son, Luke, now in fifth grade at Holy Family, enrolled in the school’s preschool.

The couple’s daughter, Emma, is in first grade at the school, and Jennifer volunteers at the school as a grant-writer and as an art and writing teacher.

Aubert, who also teaches a math class at the school, said he never imagined he would leave the classroom full-time for an administrative post but felt he could be effective as a school leader.

He said his near-term goals for the private Catholic school are to “build on the school’s reputation for academic excellence” and involve more people, Catholic or not, in Holy Family’s operations.

“Approximately 30 percent of our (student) community is non-Catholic,” Aubert said. “I want to reach out to people to support the school not just financially, but with their expertise and through volunteering opportunities.”

Aubert said he will miss Ashwood but feels she has prepared him well for the transition.

Ashwood said Aubert was her first pick to replace her.

“He’s very bright, he’s well-liked and respected, and I’m just thrilled,” she said.


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