The new principal at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School says he’s enjoying the job and getting to know the faculty, students and parents.
Kevin Mabie, who assumed his new duties at SFBRHS over the summer, sat down with The Missourian Thursday to talk about the job and some of the goals he’s set for the Catholic co-ed high school.
“I started in mid-June and it’s been going great,” said Mabie, who had been serving as assistant principal at St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon.
“The staff here at Borgia is tremendous,” he said. “I met with each teacher individually over the summer to talk about the traditions here, where the school is headed and we shared common goals.”
Mabie was hired to replace Dr. Brad Heger who retired after six years of service at SFBRHS.
Currently living in Ballwin, Mabie plans to relocate to Washington with his family in the near future.
He received his BA in English Education from Lindenwood University in 2000, and completed his Master in Education Administration from Lindenwood in 2003. He is currently working on his dissertation toward his doctorate.
Mabie also has taught English and journalism at Fort Zumwalt West High School and Parkway Central High School.
Borgia & Beyond
As one of his first orders of business, Mabie has launched a new initiative at the school called Borgia & Beyond — Honor Our Past, Build the Future — which involves teachers and parents.
“This school has an outstanding academic tradition and we want to build on that,” he said.
Six advisory teams have been formed to ensure that students are guided by faith; become 21st century leaders; get the time they need to learn; connect to college plans; become increasingly inquisitive; and be able to self-reflect to set academic goals.
“We have 60 parents involved so far and I think more will join in over time,” Mabie said. Teacher groups also are meeting to discuss the same issues.
Mabie said making sure students have a college plan is important. He said students will be encouraged to select several colleges to apply to, such as an in-state college, an out-of-state university, a dream school and a fall-back school, so they can explore all of their options.
He also would like students to be matched up with college mentors, alums who have attended a college they are interested in or one similar.
Tracking where Borgia students go after graduation and beyond also is important, Mabie said, and a new software program will help school officials do just that.
Mabie said Borgia’s iPad initiative, now in its second year, will go a long way toward the goal of making students 21st century learners and leaders.
At St. Dominic, Mabie was spearheading the school’s transition to utilizing iPads in the classrooms. He said stepping into a school that’s already fully engaged in that technology allows him to devote his energies to moving the school forward in that arena.
“Almost everything we do is electronic, which saves paper and time,” he said. “Our Borgia email system allows us to communicate with kids throughout the day without taking time out of class. Even our detention notices are handled electronically.”
Mabie said teachers have fully embraced iPads and all of its capabilities, which is resulting in more interaction with students.
“With their Apple TVs, they can be up and walking around the room while pulling up all kinds of information to engage the students,” he said.
Gone are the days of simply following a lesson plan in a hardback book, Mabie said.
Mabie said he will share progress of the Borgia & Beyond initiative and the focus groups will change over time.
Another ongoing goal, he said, will be to get to know all of the students, staff and parents, as well as the community.
“This is a very inviting community and people seem to want to know you as much as you want to get to know them, so I’m really enjoying that,” he said. “Every day I’m getting to know the kids better and I think the most important thing is for me to be present everywhere as much as I can.”
Mabie said he hopes to soon make the move to Washington with his wife Kelly and four children — April, 15, Keaton, 9, Xavier, 5, and Cosette, 3. April is currently a student at SFBRHS.