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Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Principal for Cardinal Hickey Academy

From Southern Maryland Newspapers Online

Sister Mary Juliana Cox stepped out of her office for a few moments one afternoon only to return to a small piece of chocolate that had mysteriously appeared on her desk. These sweet surprises have helped Sister Juliana feel welcomed as the new principal of Cardinal Hickey Academy.

Sister Juliana comes to Cardinal Hickey Academy from her Motherhouse in Tennessee, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia congregation. Before joining the private school in Owings, Sister Juliana taught for five years in the Tennessee area.

Sister Juliana said she has brought with her a focus on community, faith and excellence.

She said she is working to ensure that teachers at Cardinal Hickey are provided ample time in their classroom for instruction to take place.

Her first week of a school full of students has been a good one, she said, and in an interview she repeatedly mentioned the respect she has observed from both staff and students.

Prior to the students’ first days, Sister Juliana prepared for school with staff meetings and got acquainted with her new building.

Sister Juliana said one of her priorities was making sure the eighth grade students had a memorable last year at the school. She met with each eighth-grader’s parents and the class to get to know them. She said she was hoping to get ideas from students on how they can ‘‘be leaders and take an active role in the leadership of the school.”

During the first week of school, Sister Juliana visited classrooms and said she was ‘‘impressed with the eagerness of children to learn and do their best.”

‘‘In a classroom you see how God is working with your group of [students] and those families but as principal you see the Holy Spirit working in the school and it is so very humbling to recognize that God has placed these souls into my care to guide, nurture and challenge to greater heights,” she said.

Students at the school should not be intimidated by Sister Juliana’s Habit because she said she enjoys being outdoors as much as possible, including boat rides, playing ultimate Frisbee and soccer—all of which, she said, she does while wearing the traditional nun’s attire.

Sister Juliana said she also likes getting involved with the community and religious activity is on the forefront.

‘‘As a member of the religious community, my interests involve community prayer, activities and outings,” she said.

Sister Juliana said she is full of ideas for the coming year and eager to work with students and staff.

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