S.C. Diocese native named St. James principal


By Celine Klosterman

A native of the Sioux City Diocese has been named principal of St. James School in Washington.

Brad Thiel came to St. James earlier this month after spending a year working with 12-18-year-old adjudicated delinquents at the State Training School for Boys in Eldora. From 2005-08, he served as grades 7-12 principal of Spalding Catholic School in Granville. He had previously spent four years teaching history at North Butler High School in Greene, and was youth ministry program coordinator for the Sioux City Diocese from 2000-01.

Thiel has a master’s and specialist’s degree in educational administration from Drake University, and earned a B.A. in history and secondary education from Briar Cliff University in 1999. He attended Catholic elementary and high schools.

St. James attracted him because “It’s a small Catholic school. I was looking for an opportunity to expand a little. Most of my background is in secondary education, and I was looking for something different, something challenging.”


“He has a lot of very good experience,” said Tina Knutson, president of St. James’ school board. “He has very good communication skills and a good, strong, Catholic background.”

She said four people applied for the position of principal.

Thiel said he looks forward to “trying to get new families and students into the school system to continue to make it a viable place to send your kids.”

He and his wife, Sara Schneiders, live in North Liberty.

Thiel succeeds Beth McBride. McBride has taken a position with the Keota Community School District as half-time curriculum director and half-time Talented and Gifted Program coordinator for kindergarten through 12th grade.

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