By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — A love for science led Andy Craig to a career in education. He planned to be a teacher and coach. Nothing else. “But God had a different plan for me,” said Craig, president of Assumption High School.
Encouragement from fellow educators and a desire to move his family to his hometown in the Quad Cities led Craig from teaching to leading outside the classroom.
A graduate of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School and Assumption High School in Davenport, he studied at Cornell College in Mount Vernon and graduated with a triple major in biology, secondary education and physical education.
“I had no intention to teach PE. My classes in biology just lined up right to add that degree while I was there.” His passion for science led to teaching.
Following graduation, Craig taught at Storm Lake High School in Iowa for two years. While there, he met his future wife, Ann. He decided to move to the Cedar Rapids area after they became engaged because she worked in Cedar Rapids. He took a job teaching and coaching in Mount Vernon schools. While there, he earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Drake University in Des Moines.
The couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Adriana. An opening at their alma mater, Assumption, resulted in Craig accepting a position as dean of students. The couple had talked about moving to the Quad Cities so that their daughter and any future children could be close to both sets of grandparents.
Craig began his new position in the 2006-07 school year. Later, he applied for and served as principal of Assumption for two years. When Linda Duffy announced her retirement as the school’s president, he applied for that position. Since then, he has earned his superintendent certificate through the University of Iowa. He also coached football and basketball for a while. He and his wife welcomed two more children to the family, Drew and Anthony.
“I was just going to be a teacher,” he laughed. However, while teaching in Mount Vernon, his peers told him he would be good in administration and leadership, and he was open to the idea. The school district there engaged in realignment, exploring “How can we do what we are doing even better? We did it there. Now we are doing it here (in Scott County),” Craig said.
He does not sit back and think about his accomplishments. “You need to move forward.”
Among his duties as Assumption’s president is to work with the feeder schools of Lourdes in Bettendorf, All Saints, John F. Kennedy and St. Paul the Apostle schools in Davenport.
The decisions he makes today as president have an impact on many people, and his position provides the opportunity to think about those decisions. “I can take time to figure the impact a decision might have on not just Assumption faculty and students, but parents, pastors, priests, alumni and the whole Catholic community.”
He does not regret any decisions he previously made, but probably would have done some things differently today. “You learn from experience. You gain knowledge.”
Craig gives credit to the good people all around him who have helped him along the way. “I have learned to trust and listen to help build the future of Assumption.” Now he is one of the co-leaders for the Scott County Catholic Schools’ strategic plan.
“It’s an exciting time in our Catholic schools here in Scott County,” Craig said. “I feel even more energized with our strategic plan. We are talking with many about how this will affect not just families, but the faith community as well. I’m excited about the future.”