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Sternberg Begins Tenure As Reitz Memorial High School Principal

Sally Sternberg

It wasn’t the norm for education, Sally Sternberg admitted, but she said the experience was incredible.

Sternberg officially took over as Reitz Memorial High School’s principal on Jan. 1. But she had been in the school for months before that learning from now-retired Principal Dr. Marie Williams, staff and students.

Formerly an associate superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Evansville, Sternberg said she was blessed to have the opportunity to split time between the Catholic Schools Office and learning the ropes at Memorial.

“Typically in education a new principal comes in July or August to start the new school year,” Sternberg explained. “This has been an incredible experience to walk into a school that’s already on a great path, and have this bit of time to transition.”

Williams, who retired in December after almost 44 years in various roles of Catholic education, agreed to stay as principal until a replacement was found. During the first semester of the 2018-19 school year Williams met with Sternberg one-on-one, Sternberg attended administrative meetings and she individually met with teachers and staff.

“It’s also allowed me to see Memorial through their eyes – collectively – and to see the strengths and also the opportunities we have to move Memorial forward and grow,” Sternberg said.

Williams has no doubts about Sternberg’s ability to lead Memorial.

“In schools we’re all about getting better, so I’m very optimistic in Sally’s leadership. … I feel so confident about the future of the school,” she said.

For about 10 years, Sternberg taught high school math for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. and Southridge High School. She then became principal of Holy Family School in Jasper in 2010, and was integral as it restructured to the three-campus Holy Trinity Catholic School.

So returning to high school administration is like going back home.

Sternberg and her family are members of Precious Blood Parish in Jasper. She and her husband Chris have three children who attend Holy Trinity Catholic School.

December was bittersweet, Sternberg said, because she’ll miss the people, but she was enthusiastic about her next chapter.

“I wholeheartedly know this is where God is calling me to serve,” she said. “And I am so excited to actually get there now after this whole semester of transition. I’m ready.”

Williams had one last piece of advice for Sternberg.

“She’s probably overwhelmed with advice I’ve given her the last six months, but focus on the faith and the joy that’s here (at Memorial).”