By Celine Klosterman
KEOKUK — A longtime teacher in Keokuk Community Schools has been named principal of Keokuk Catholic Schools.
Laura Marsot, a member of Church of All Saints in Keokuk, officially begins work at the prekindergarten to fifth-grade school Aug. 1.
“We chose her for her excitement to come into our school and do something new and different,” said Jessica Koehler, president of Keokuk Catholic Schools’ Board of Education. “She has good ideas for increasing technology in the classroom, and she’s a go-getter who we thought could bring us to that next level.”
Marsot taught elementary students for 33 years in Keokuk public schools. Most recently, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary.
She completed her endorsement in educational leadership in 2010 at Quincy University, a Catholic, Franciscan institution in Quincy, Ill. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the university, and a master’s degree in elementary math education from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. In Quincy, she graduated from St. Boniface Elementary and Notre Dame High School.
At Keokuk Catholic Schools, Marsot hopes to promote 21st-century skills, science and math; increase use of technology; foster Catholic values; and “nurture the growth” of the school. Last year, the school had 70 students in kindergarten to fifth grade and 40 preschoolers.
The school’s small, close-knit community appealed to Marsot, she said. “My parish is here, and I know the families. It seemed like a good fit and an exceptional opportunity to give back to Catholic education. I am fortunate to be joining this team.”
She and her husband, Mark, who teaches physical education at Keokuk High School, have three adult children: Travis Marsot, who lives in California; Leah Marsot Gapinski, who resides in Minnesota; and Megan Marsot, who lives in New York. The couple has four grandchildren.
Marsot succeeds Laurie Mendenhall as principal. Sharon Kokemuller, who served as assistant principal last year, will share Marsot’s salary and assist her with administrative tasks as director of education.