By Eleanor Sevigny
Published in The Burg July 15, 2021
Costa Catholic Academy has hired a new principal, Kathryn Frakes. Frakes received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at WIU, a Master’s degree in Reading Specialist at Olivet Nazarene University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at WIU.
As a wife, mother, dog owner, and career woman starting a new job Frakes is very busy, yet somehow she still found the time to answer a few questions about her new position at Costa!
Question: Why did you decide to become a principal at Costa?
Frakes: When I went back to school to get my Master’s in school leadership I thought I just wanted the degree to put in my pocket to use if something ever came up. I didn't plan on applying for an administrative position unless it seemed right. When Costa was looking for a principal I immediately felt like that was the position I wanted. I have worked in Catholic education in the past and loved and missed it. There is something to be said about being able to share Faith and God with kids.
Question: What do you think your next couple of months will look like preparing for this job?
Frakes: I plan to be in the office often getting to know my staff and familiarizing myself with the procedures and routines of a Catholic school principal. There are few changes and updates we are working on and I think that may be time consuming, but I’m up for the challenge!
Question: What's your connection with Costa?
Frakes: My mother-in-law is a Costa High School alumni and that was what drew my family to Costa years ago. I believe in Catholic education and knew I wanted my kids to go to a Catholic school. Both of my girls participated in the preschool programs at Costa before we relocated to Immaculate Conception School in Monmouth. While my youngest daughter was in preschool the teacher decided to take some time off and I finished out the year as the preschool teacher. I always felt like I wanted to come back to Costa.
Question: Are your family members excited about your new job?
Frakes: We have a unique dynamic in my family with my husband being the principal of our “rival” school Immaculate Conception School in Monmouth. We don’t see it as a rival but rather want to be more of a partnership in the Knox-Warren Catholic community. My two daughters are excited to be part of this adventure with me and getting to know our new Costa family.
Question: How is enrollment?
Frakes: Our enrollment is pretty strong for this upcoming school year which is very impressive coming out of the COVID pandemic. We pride ourselves on small intimate class sizes and personalization in educating our students and want to keep those class sizes “right sized” to be able to continue with our high quality curriculum.
Question: What do you plan to accomplish at Costa?
Frakes: Costa has definitely gone through some tough times, but the staff have remained true and dedicated to the mission and vision of Costa. The teachers are dedicated and knowledgeable in educating the whole child. I envision providing some stability for the staff, students, and parents.
Question: What would you like to say to the Galesburg community?
Frakes: When my husband and I moved back to the area, he was born and raised in Galesburg, the community was so welcoming to new families. I look forward to being a part of that. We chose to move to the area specifically for the small intimate size and amenities Galesburg offered. I hope families see Costa as one of those positive amenities!