Congratulations to Marian Principal Mark Kirzeder who was honored with the Light of Learning Award for 2017-2018 by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. He accepted the award at the You Can Lend a Hand Luncheon at Century Center on Thursday, February 1, 2018. The entire Marian community is grateful for his 4 years of leadership and service as the ninth Principal of Marian High School.
Mark Kirzeder was born and raised in Crosby, Minnesota. He is married to Lesley and they have three children: Seth, Ilah, and Bernadette. They are active members of St. Anthony de Padua Parish.
Professional Background: He earned a B.S. in Science and Math Education from University of Notre Dame, a M.S. in Education through Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at University of Notre Dame and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. He came to Marian with three years of teaching and coaching at Holy Trinity Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He taught Physics, Calculus, and Integrated Chemistry and Physics for nine years in Marian's award-winning Science Department and he served as the Assistant Principal for two years before being named the Principal of Marian High School.
In his own words: For me, and for so many who serve in Catholic schools, this is so much more than a job. Educating youth in the Catholic faith is a vocation, a ministry, in response to God’s call more so than a choice of our own making. I can undoubtedly say I am compelled to serve God and the Church in this role, for community is at the heart of the Church, and Christ is at the heart of our community at Marian.
The most important way in which my leadership is displayed at Marian is in the continuous process by which we ensure that Marian is a mission-driven school. In all that we do, we attempt to fulfill our self-proclaimed mission: Marian High School challenges students to spiritual and moral growth, academic and physical excellence, and social maturity. As a Catholic community, Marian values the sanctity and individuality of each student and strives to live the example of Jesus Christ as teacher and servant. Our mission statement is not simply an item that hangs on our wall or resides on the pages of our handbook. Instead, it is truly a vital and living part of our community that we use daily as a basis for making curricular decisions, developing our school budget, and reviewing our current policies and procedures.
The ideal vision of Catholic education that I continually strive to attain at Marian can be summed up nicely in the document titled, “The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium.” In the Catholic school's educational project there is no separation between time for learning and time for formation, between acquiring notions and growing wisdom. The various school subjects do not present only knowledge to be attained, but also values to be acquired and truths to be discovered. (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1998, no. 14)
It is my focus, along with that of my faculty and staff, to continually find meaningful and innovative ways to incorporate the Sacramental life of the Church, our rich faith tradition and Catholic culture into every aspect of education at Marian High School. Doing so will prepare Marian students to be successful contributors to our community and our world, and, most importantly, will help them become future citizens of Heaven.