By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
BURLINGTON — Notre Dame Catholic Schools’ new principal, Katie Frakes, hopes to foster a culture that draws in staff, students and parents and keeps them engaged.
The role is a step up for Frakes, who served as assistant principal during the 2022-23 school year. “In her short time in that role, she proved to be an integral part of our leadership team and we are excited for her to move into her new role this academic year,” said Burlington Notre Dame Board of Education President Jennifer Neumann. She described Frakes, a Catholic, as a “strong spiritual leader committed to Catholic education and helping students grow in their faith. She has been a strong advocate for our students, staff and faculty working tirelessly to ensure they have the best possible experience at Notre Dame.”
Frakes, 41, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Illinois University. She holds two master’s degrees: reading specialist from Olivet Nazarene University and educational leadership from Western Illinois University.
She began her career in the classroom and enjoyed helping students in that capacity but believed she could do more as an administrator. Before joining the Notre Dame community as assistant principal in 2022, she served as principal of Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg, Illinois.
The principal position opened up at Notre Dame midway through the school year and Frakes decided to apply. “I was looking for a more impactful, positive interaction with all students and parents. In addition, it seemed like a good opportunity to shape Catholic educational policies and add my vision for improving education overall.” She worked with former principal Bill Maupin before assuming the role July 1.
As principal, Frakes hopes to lead efforts to increase enrollment incrementally for the next five years. She also hopes to “create a positive culture that retains its teaching staff,” minimizing turnover.
Frakes and her husband, Randy, have been married for 18 years and have two daughters. “I love the family-like community” at Notre Dame, Frakes said. “It’s a small but thriving school atmosphere.”