Mrs. Eileen Barendse - Assistant Principal and Director of Early Education

I am so excited to be returning to St. Francis after taking the 2015-2016 school year off to stay home with my two young daughters. Prior to my extended maternity leave I taught first grade for four years and spent one year as the student support teacher right here at SFX. This vibrant and student-centered community keeps me coming back year after year!

I absolutely loved being in the classroom and enjoyed pushing myself and supporting my students each year I taught first grade. Now, as Assistant Principal, I hope to help our teachers engage their students and instill in them a love for learning. We are blessed with an incredible and loving faculty at St. Francis and I am looking forward to supporting our teachers so they can continue giving their hearts to our students each day. I am also looking forward to connecting with students and walk with them as they grow in their love of learning.

There is nothing quite like being a member of a faith based, student-centered community. The classrooms and hallways of St. Francis are filled with a heart that is so unique to a small Catholic school. I entered the Catholic school community as a 6th grader in Connecticut and continued right through high school, college, and graduate school! I have an undergrad degree in Sociology from Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and a Masters degree in Elementary Education from St. Michael's. I feel so blessed to give back to this community of learners!

I am looking forward to an active year; meeting new students and families and reconnecting with those of you I already know. I am also thrilled that my oldest daughter will be joining me at school as a member of the 3 year old Pre-School program. It will be great to experience St. Francis as a faculty member and also as a parent!

My husband and I live in Essex Junction with our two girls. We love being outside and enjoying all that Vermont has to offer our family.