We are excited to announce that Mrs. Laura Montez will be joining our staff as school principal this summer at DSA-Delray Beach. She will work closely with Ms. Kolander, who will continue in her role as Early Childhood Director. We look forward to Mrs. Montez joining our staff and bringing her expertise and passion for education to our campus in Delray Beach.
Please read more from Mrs. Montez herself….
Hello Divine Savior Academy students, staff, and families!
I am excited to get to know each of you and to serve you as principal! While my initial visit to the school was brief, I was impressed by the welcoming environment and the high level of student engagement. I am looking forward to learning more about each of you and the school as a whole so that I can better understand how I can support our school as we continue to grow.
To help you to get to know me, I would like to share a little about my education and professional experience. My Bachelor of Arts degree is from Wisconsin Lutheran College where I majored in Broad Field Social Studies, History, and Education. After graduation, I was a classroom teacher for 9 years working in urban, suburban, and rural schools. I enjoyed my time as a classroom teacher, and at the same time, I was drawn to becoming an administrator to have a greater impact on the school community. After completing my Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I continued to be a full-time classroom teacher while taking on additional administrative responsibilities as the PK-8 Professional Development Coordinator.
After a couple years of doing both roles, I decided to transition to a full-time administrative role. For the next 6 years, I served as a full-time administrator at both the school and district levels serving as an academic dean, associate principal and principal. In each administrative role, I was responsible for school level communication, continuous improvement processes, supporting students and staff in maintaining a positive school environment, and ensuring high levels of academic achievement for all students. I provided instructional coaching to staff as well as facilitating staff professional development and curriculum updates. In addition, I had the opportunity to present about trauma-sensitive practices and standards-based assessment and learning at both Wisconsin state conferences and the Annual Visible Learning national conference when it was held in Chicago. For the last two years, I have worked at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, overseeing the dual enrollment program for high school students to earn college credit, doing PK-12 outreach to support school and district staff, and facilitating a learning community for future teachers.
As an educator, I believe in student-centered approaches that engage students in learning and inspire students to persist in challenging learning that leads students to realize their full potential. As a leader, I am a visionary who always sees the opportunities of what we can become if we continuously work to build on our positive learning environment and strong academic achievement. I believe in servant leadership, being transparent, and willing to put in the work necessary to support all students and staff. As a lifelong learner, I will continue to further my own education as well as collaborate with my professional networks so that I can best support the needs of our students and staff. As the instructional leader of the building, I will frequently be in classrooms during the school day interacting with students and staff. Outside of the school day, I will be at school functions to see the wonderful activities and events that our students are participating in. I want to get to know students, parents, and staff in order to work collaboratively to accomplish what is best for students.
In addition to being hardworking and dedicated to our school, I am also a wife and mother. I strive to find a balance between work and spending time with my family. As a firm believer in self-care, keeping a balance helps me to be a better leader when I’m at work. My husband will be teaching middle school physical education at Divine Savior Academy – Doral, and my kids will attend school there. Noah will be in 5th grade and Lilly will be in 9th grade. They are both looking forward to making friends at our church and at their school. In our free time, our family enjoys outside activities, playing team sports, and attending sporting events. We also enjoy watching movies especially the Marvel and Star Wars movies.
After we move at the beginning of July, I would like to get to know as many students, parents, and staff as possible. I will set up several opportunities for meet and greet events as well as small group discussions in the month before school starts. In addition, I would encourage you to contact me if you would like to set up an individual appointment, so that we can get to know each other prior to the school year beginning.
Throughout the year, I will ask for your feedback in the form of surveys. However, please do not feel like you need to wait until you receive a survey to provide input. I welcome feedback at any time. I want to ensure that your experience at Divine Savior Academy is always positive, so please reach out at any time with questions, comments, or concerns.
Thank you and I look forward to getting to know you better!