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The Green Bay Area Catholic Education school system (GRACE) announces the hire of Molly Mares as principal of Notre Dame of De Pere, beginning Aug. 6, 2018. Notre Dame of De Pere is one of nine GRACE schools.

“Molly’s relational leadership style makes her an ideal fit for principal at Notre Dame of De Pere,” Kimberly Desotell, GRACE president said. “Her strength is in building partnerships and community—all under the vision of helping students succeed.”

Mares is an experienced educator with a focus on creating positive classroom and school environments that result in student success. She is a collaborative leader and engages staff, teachers, parents and students to come together in pursuit of shared goals.

As principal, Mares is responsible for leading Notre Dame of De Pere. She describes her role as fostering collaboration between the staff and parents to provide the best education for the students in a faith environment that teaches the whole child.

“I’m excited to join the Notre Dame community,” Mares said. “I want to understand what’s going well so I can further support it, while making sure I can help bring positive transformation where needed.”

“In her previous position, Molly was tremendously successfully in many areas of student development,” Desotell shared. “She will build on the great work already in place at Notre Dame by adding innovative ideas and a fresh perspective.”

Notre Dame partners with St. Francis Xavier Parish in De Pere and St. Mary Catholic Church in Ledgeview. Mares is looking to establish a strong relationship with the parish leaders to work together so the students can experience the strong link between school, parish and community.

Mares’ education leadership includes a principal internship program while simultaneously serving as the lead teacher at New Directions Learning Community in Kaukauna, where she focused on the function and longevity of the school, including strategic planning, sustainability, technology, employee recruitment and the further development of the 4K program.

Previous positions include teaching at multiple locations, including New Directions Learning Community in Kaukauna, Wis., LEARN Charter School Network-Excel Campus in Chicago, Il., and Weyauwega Elementary School in Weyauwega, Wis.

Mares earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and principal license from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a Bachelor of Science in Education, also from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Mares and her family are parishioners of St. Mary Parish in Appleton.