Ten years after completing an internship at St. Gertrude School in Krakow, Mike Etter will be leading the school as principal this fall.
Although he doesn’t officially begin until July 1, Etter visited the school before summer break and met some of the students.
He is replacing Mike Newbanks, who resigned at the end of the school year.
Etter, who grew up in Fenton, but now lives in Marthasville, taught junior high math at All Saints School in St. Peters for the past three years.
“I enjoyed being that role model in faith to individual classrooms when I was a teacher,” he said. “The idea of being the spiritual leader of a whole school definitely appealed to me.”
Etter said that when he saw the job posting for St. Gertrude on the archdiocese website, “it was a very easy decision to pursue it.
“I think the biggest thing I want to make sure that we’re doing is definitely showing our Catholic identity — making it apparent as someone walks in the front doors that this is a Catholic school.”
Etter said Newbanks did a wonderful job of building the school up.
He said he’s excited to get started and meet the families and the children, especially the first day of school, and seeing the excited look on their faces.
“This summer definitely won’t go by quickly enough for me,” he remarked.
Etter graduated high school from St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, which is now closed.
He received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Webster University in 1995 and a master’s degree in elementary administration from St. Louis University in 2004.
He spent three years teaching first grade at St. Vincent de Paul School, Dutzow; six years teaching second and third grade at Sacred Heart, Eureka; and was principal for five years at Holy Rosary, Warrenton. He also taught homeroom at All Saints and Holy Rosary.
Etter shadowed Newbanks prior to becoming a principal.
“I’m very confident he is going to do a great job leading the school and the kids are going to like him,” Newbanks said. “He has experience in the Catholic school system and I think that’s a great benefit to him.”
Etter currently resides in Marthasville with his wife, Michelle, and three children, Ethan, 10; Lukas, 7; and Martha, 3.
All three will be students at St. Francis Borgia Grade School this fall, where Michelle Etter is principal. The family attends church at St. Vincent de Paul.