Over the past year, the Mount Saint Joseph community faced a challenge that the school hadn’t faced in a long time – the search for a new principal. With the retirement of Mr. Dave Norton, St. Joe began the search for a new principal at the start of the 2019 school year. Because of the longevity of the principals that Mount St. Joe has had over the past three decades, this was definitely a new experience for the community to go through. It was a time of uncertainty, where we all had to put a lot of faith and trust in the leaders at St. Joe.
On July 1st, the school announced that Mr. Francisco Espinosa, a life-long servant of Xaverian education, would become the new principal at Mount Saint Joe. For Mr. Espinosa, this journey to The Mount was one that took him time to realize was the correct move for him. Mr. Espinosa has been an educator for 28 years, his most recent position being Principal at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky. During his time at Saint X, Mr. Espinosa held a variety of jobs, including varsity football coach, history teacher, assistant principal for student life, and assistant principal for supervision of instruction, before taking on his role as principal. Now he takes over as principal at another XBSS school. Saint X is a fellow Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School, and as a school community, we share the same values that they do. Both are very similar environments.
Mr. Espinosa took on the challenges of being principal head-on during his time at Saint X. He always took the time to create strong relationships with students, and he used his coaching experience to build strong bonds with the students that he interacted with. Mr. Espinosa was often faced with working with students who were dealing with a multitude of challenges, in and out of the classroom. He was determined to give all students a chance to prove themselves by giving them opportunities to better their situations. He has an open door policy for all students, and in his time at Saint X he strived to develop strong relationships with students through communication and contact. This is a goal that he has for himself at Saint Joe too.
“I enjoyed giving kids an opportunity to prove themselves; giving them an opportunity to better their situation”
While he was in Kentucky, Mr. Espinosa was well-known within the MSJ community. For the past 6 years, Mr. Espinosa served as a member of the board, and during that time he was impactful in effecting change in the school, including developing the iPad program and a massive overhaul to college counseling last year. It has been one of the biggest changes for seniors and Mr. Espinosa was very involved with the work to increase college counseling. He offered many suggestions that helped the school design this program, placing his mark on St. Joe even before joining as principal. I’m currently in the college application process and it has been a huge tool for me.
“Mr. Andrews was very influential for me in talking to me about the school, but I think my experience on the board was especially influential”
When the search for a new principal began, there was a period of deep thought for Mr. Espinosa. He realized that MSJ was in need of a good academic leader, and he had the experience on the board and at St. X. But this was a daunting task, considering he would have to move to Maryland for the position. Leaving his hometown, while leaving most of his family back in Kentucky until they can join him in Maryland, all while in the midst of a pandemic.
Mr. Espinosa has been tasked with the biggest challenge of his professional career. The Mount has been very open about their plans regarding the pandemic, and they’re taking every step possible to ensure the safety of the community. Being able to protect all of the members of the community while still creating relationships with all the students has been a challenge at St. Joe and for Mr. Espinosa. But I think it is safe to say that this community has rallied around the new challenge and the new leadership of our principal, Mr. Frank Espinosa.