top of page

Quilici steps into role of principal with excitement and prayer


Bishop Kelly’s football team hiked to Table Rock at sunrise to kick off their season.

(Courtesy Photo/Katie Hayes)


By Emily Woodham

Staff Writer


Dr. Sarah Quilici is the new principal of Bishop Kelly High School in Boise. “People keep asking me if I’m excited to come into this role, and I am. Over the past 15 years, I feel like God has prepared me for this role by forming me first at Bishop Kelly, then principal for St. Joes and eventually as Superintendent of Catholic Schools.”


Quilici, who has been in education since 2002, started her career in administration 15 years ago at Bishop Kelly as assistant principal. In 2011, she served as assistant principal at Timberline High School, a public school in Boise. Three years later, she became principal at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Boise. In 2017, she was appointed Superintendent of Catholic Schools, overseeing 15 Catholic K-8 schools and two Catholic high schools in Idaho. She returned to Bishop Kelly last year as Vice Principal of Academic Affairs.


Dr. Sarah Quilici, Principal

Quilici holds a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho, an Education Specialist in Administration from the University of Idaho, and a master’s in English and a bachelor’s in English Teaching from Boise State University.


Quilici is also a wife and mother of four. All her children attend Catholic schools. Her oldest child is a sophomore at Bishop Kelly.


“Bishop Kelly has grown and changed,” Quilici said. “And we need to look to the future and see how to continue to grow and change.”


“I was blessed to be here last year as an assistant principal,” she said. During that time, Bishop Kelly undertook an intensive self-study as part of their accreditation process, to see where the school needed to grow. “Four goals arose from that process, which will guide us over the next five years. The goals are to impact mind, body and spirit. We’re still working on the strategic plan, but one of those goals is to make sure we’re integrating the Faith across all the curriculum in an intentional way.”


This year the school will have an accreditation visit from the Western Catholic Education Association. “A visiting team will evaluate our self-study. They’ll go into all of our classrooms and attend our all-school Mass. They will examine all parts of our program,” she said.


In their efforts to obtain continued accreditation, Bishop Kelly wants to make sure they are offering the best for their students, she noted.


“Our enrollment is at 977. We have grown so much from the 600 students enrolled 15 years ago. We want to do a curriculum audit, to really look at our course offerings and make sure we are staying competitive from an academic standpoint,” she said.


Students attending “Freshman Academy,” From left to right, Rowen Belew, Jamie Baker, Catherine Boot. (Courtesy Photos/Bishop Kelly High School)




Students attending “Freshman Academy,”, from left to right, Aidan Branley, Jaxson Brady, Leyton Allen, Henry Anderson. (Courtesy Photos/Bishop Kelly High School)


One of the main challenges in education, noted Quilici, is artificial intelligence (AI). “We’re going to have to talk a lot about AI this year. How do we teach students to use that for good? There can be benefits to AI, but we want to make sure that students are still thinking for themselves.”


To help build community at the school, Bishop Kelly is starting a “house system.” Many other Catholic schools already take this approach.


“Each student will belong to a family group, and each house will have eight family groups,” she said.


The eight houses are named for virtues in Latin: Veritas (Truth), Caritas

(Love), Integritas (Integrity), Servium (Service), Gaudium (Joy), Fortis (Strong/Courageous), Fidelis (Faith), and Nobilitas (Honor).


The families are named for saints, including St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joan of Arc, St. John Chrysostom and St. Thomas Aquinas.


The families and houses will have activities and friendly competitions with each other. “We think this will be really good for the students,” she said.


In their efforts to obtain continued accreditation, Bishop Kelly wants to make sure they are offering the best for their students, she noted.


“Our enrollment is at 977. We have grown so much from the 600 students enrolled 15 years ago. We want to do a curriculum audit, to really look at our course offerings and make sure we are staying competitive from an academic standpoint,” she said.


One of the main challenges in education, noted Quilici, is artificial intelligence (AI). “We’re going to have to talk a lot about AI this year. How do we teach students to use that for good? There can be benefits to AI, but we want to make sure that students are still thinking for themselves.”


To help build community at the school, Bishop Kelly is starting a “house system.” Many other Catholic schools already take this approach.


“Each student will belong to a family group, and each house will have eight family groups,” she said.


The eight houses are named for virtues in Latin: Veritas (Truth), Caritas

(Love), Integritas (Integrity), Servium (Service), Gaudium (Joy), Fortis (Strong/Courageous), Fidelis (Faith), and Nobilitas (Honor).


The families are named for saints, including St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joan of Arc, St. John Chrysostom and St. Thomas Aquinas.


The families and houses will have activities and friendly competitions with each other. “We think this will be really good for the students,” she said.


Quilici is looking forward to the school year. “Looking back on the path on which God has put me, that brings me to this spot, I can see what He’s done to prepare and equip me for it. But my prayer is still that of Solomon: I need wisdom and understanding to do this job. That’s my daily prayer, that I be given wisdom and understanding.”


If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.


241 views0 comments

Comments


Diocesan Pastoral Center

FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page