New principal to take over at Queen of Angels School

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A new principal with local ties will take over at Queen of Angels Catholic School in July, when current Principal Mike Juhas departs and Ann Austin steps into the role.

Juhas, who took leadership of the private school in 2010, will complete his final day in Port Angeles on June 30, and move to Louisiana to be closer to his family, where he was hired as the president of a Catholic middle and high school near New Orleans.

A national search for a new principal led the school back to Port Angeles.

Austin, 43, the international homestay coordinator at Peninsula College, was hired to take the helm of the preschool-through-eighth-grade school, and will begin her job July 1.

“Queen of Angels School has been a blessing for my family and is a gem within this community,” said Austin, whose two children are enrolled at Queen of Angels in kindergarten and fourth grade.

“What Queen of Angels School offers is a unique environment which focuses on high academic standards, character development, and up-to-date educational methods and technology,” she added.

Austin has more than 10 years of experience in teaching and administration in education systems in the United States and around the world.

She received her undergraduate degree in international studies at the University of Washington and her graduate degree in teaching from the University of Puget Sound.

She has lived and worked in schools and universities in the U.S., Australia, Japan and Turkey.

Austin also was the chairwoman of the Queen of Angels’ School Commission.

The school, founded in 1927, has an enrollment of 135 students and is located in the historic Queen of Angels schoolhouse at 1007 S. Oak St.

In the past three years, Juhas has overseen the installation of educational technology in the school’s classrooms, including electronic whiteboards and a classroom set of 23 iPads to use with educational software.

“It’s a great tool. There is so much to do with, to enhance a variety of subjects,” he said.

Austin said she hopes to continue the push into 21st century education in new ways.

After her experiences in international education, she said she hopes to be able to add foreign language lessons into the school’s curriculum — possibly Japanese.

For the past few weeks, Austin has worked closely with Juhas for a smooth transition between administrators.

Austin, her husband and children are members of Queen of Angels Catholic Church, with which the school is affiliated.

“Father [Thomas] Nathe is a dedicated pastor who is sincere about building a positive school experience for students and families,” Austin said.

“I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him and the current principal, Mike Juhas, teachers and staff during my transition into this position.”

For more information about Queen of Angels School, see www.qofaschool.org.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 10. 2013 6:17PM
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