Daily Reporter staff writer
GREENFIELD — Several years ago, Amy McClain saw potential in one of her teachers at St. Patrick School in Terre Haute.
“I encouraged her to go back to school,” McClain said. “The time was right; her children were grown.”
That teacher was Patty Mauer, who took the advice and earned a master’s degree at Indiana State University. In 2013 she would become McClain’s assistant principal.
Mauer’s education career has once again reached a new horizon. She has been named the new principal of St. Michael School in Greenfield. She officially assumes her duties July 1 but already has been settling into her new office in Greenfield.
Though McClain is sad to lose her assistant, she’s excited for Mauer and still a big fan of hers.
“Patty’s work ethic is unmatched,” McClain said. “She’s such a faith-filled person that she takes the vocation very seriously — as we all should.”
McClain said Mauer is thoughtful about any decision she has to make, and when asked for advice will take time to ponder the matter before giving an answer.
Mauer was a member of the Parent Club at St. Patrick before beginning to teach there in 2000; her children attended school there. At one point she also juggled athletic director responsibilities with teaching but stepped away from the former to pursue more schooling. When Mauer became assistant principal, she resumed the athletic director duties.
In addition to her master’s degree in education leadership/building administration from Indiana State, Mauer has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from IUPUI.
In 2011, while teaching fourth grade at St. Patrick, she was one of five teachers chosen from among the nearly 70 schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to receive the Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award from the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education.
Deacon Wayne Davis, who worked with a search committee to review principal applicants, said Mauer’s mix of experience, both her years in the classroom and her emergence in administration, “equipped her real well to lead.”
Mauer said she intends for her leadership style to be one of collaboration, “where we move forward together.”
The new principal said the job at St. Michael was attractive to her for several reasons. For one, it seemed like a good size for her first assignment as a principal.
She also pointed to a strong staff and sound test scores.
The school anticipates 240 students for 2015-16 school year, she said, which represents a dip in enrollment. One of her goals is to help bring that number back up.
The school serves prekindergarten students through eighth-graders.
The new principal also has a transition to one-to-one computing on her to-do list. Neither she nor Davis said the school is prepared to place devices in students’ hands this coming school year, but both indicate time will be spent working toward that goal.
Before she taught in Terre Haute, Mauer worked in Greensburg, her hometown. Now that she and her husband’s four children are adults – the youngest just graduated from high school, and the oldest is getting married in September – it’s nice to move and be closer to family members still in Greensburg, she said.
Mauer taught three years at Greensburg’s St. Mary’s Catholic School. Add in her years at St. Patrick, and she’s in her 19th year as an educator in Catholic schools.
“It just feels like the right place and always has felt like home,” she said.
Mauer said she likes being in a setting where people share faith and beliefs and learn together.
McClain said Mauer is a spiritually devoted person with what some might find an unusual combination of faith personalities. She described Mauer as a mix of a monk, one appreciating quiet moments of prayer and meditation, and an evangelizer, open about sharing her faith.
“She’s very, very open about her faith and how she feels about it and how she sees God’s hand at work in her vocation,” McClain said.