Principal, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
Alice Stautzenberger was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and graduated from Louisiana Tech University. She also earned a Master of Education from Southeastern Louisiana University and Master of Arts in Catholic School Leadership from St. Louis University. Alice taught at the high school, junior high and college level in Louisiana, and she lived in the New Orleans area and the Dallas area before moving to Rogers in 1998. She started working at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in 2000 as the librarian, and she became the principal in 2017. She is married to Blair Stautzenberger, and they have a son named Jacob.
What was it like running the school during a pandemic?
When the pandemic first started, it was very lonely. I came to work every day and was usually the only person in the building. A school is not supposed to be empty – it needs to be full of children! I spent a lot of time dropping in Google Meets and Zoom classes. It was challenging over the summer because we didn’t know where things were headed and there were important decisions that needed to be made, but I had good support from our Health and Safety Committee, and we came up with plans that worked. Our faculty and staff worked so hard to quickly adjust to the new circumstances. The teachers have all done an amazing job with teaching both our in-person and virtual students. Our families were very supportive and appreciative of our efforts.
What changes did you make during the school year due to the pandemic?
We first focused on the ventilation, handwashing and how we would socially distance. We installed iWave air purifiers in our air ducts, many new hand washing stations and moved our larger classes to the larger classrooms. We spread the students out at individual desks. We offered virtual and in-person instruction this year. We had the teachers move around to the different classrooms rather than having large groups of students moving through the hallways. We ate outside whenever the weather permitted and had classes outside more than usual.
The school never closed during the pandemic. How were you able to safely keep the school open for students and staff?
We were very careful with screening and asking staff and students to stay home if they or anyone in their household had symptoms. Everyone in our school community was cooperative about wearing masks and being very cautious if they thought they could be at-risk. We were one of the first schools to have a vaccination clinic for our staff, including all volunteer coaches and substitute teachers. We were extremely motivated to stay in school!
What do you do when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family watching TV, playing games or eating out.
Where is your happy place?
My happy place is wherever I am when I am doing something I love.
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” – T.S. Eliot
Something Tex-Mex with flan for dessert
Best time of day for you:
Late afternoon or early evening is the best time of day for me. I am not a morning person.
Favorite song on your playlist:
“The Walker” by Fitz and the Tantrums
What book is on your bedside table?
“Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen” by Alison Weir
What nonprofits are you involved with and why?
My favorite and only nonprofit I’m involved with at this time is St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. I love this school! Making sure it’s successful is not just a job for me; it’s also my main hobby.
For more information about St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, visit www.svdpschool.net.