Alvaro Sandoval named principal of St. Mary Catholic School, Big Rapids

Published on July 12, 2021
Alvaro Sandoval

Reverend Jegar Fickel, administrator of St. Mary - St. Paul Catholic Community in Big Rapids is pleased to announce Mr. Alvaro (Al) Sandoval as school principal. Mr. Sandoval began his new role on July 1.

“I’m thrilled to be working alongside Al! Not only does he bring his extensive educational background to this position, he is a man with a deep love for the Catholic faith and a broad, lively vision for the school,” said Fr. Fickel. “I look forward to the plans God has in store for this community!”

Mr. Sandoval was selected following a unanimous recommendation from a search committee consisting of school board members, teachers, and parishioners. He has held teaching positions for almost two decades, ranging in experience from an all-male private school to an inner-city public school. Mr. Sandoval most recently led the Spanish program at St. Joseph Catholic School in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Mr. Sandoval has bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and Spanish from Hope College. He is working toward completing his master’s degree in education.

“I am coming from the east side of the state, but originally from the west side, so it feels like coming home,” said Mr. Sandoval. “I am looking forward to a new year with a renewed focus on the mission of our school and to working with staff, families, and students to fulfill the joyous plans God has for our school community.”

Mr. Sandoval becomes principal following the resignation of Mr. JB Watters, who served St. Mary Catholic School for nine years as principal. Mr. Watters resigned to take a school leadership position in Texas.

St. Mary Catholic School is an extension of the St. Mary – St. Paul Parish. Outstanding faculty lead preschool through 8th grade students to spiritual development, academic excellence, community service, and growth in the Catholic faith. The school currently enrolls 184 students in preschool - 8th grade. For more information, visit: https://stmaryschoolbr.org/.

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