Holy Family School Announces New Principal

Published : Friday, June 14, 2019 | 2:10 PM

Mrs. Darcie Girmus - New Principal for Holy Family Catholic School. Photo courtesy HFS

Dear Holy Family School Community,

Thank you to all of you for your patience and support during the search for a new principal at Holy Family School.

It has been a tremendous job and one that was done out of love for the school and the community. All of the members of the Search Committee are parents of either former or current Holy Family School students and we are deeply invested in the future success of Holy Family School.

Our job to find a new principal began in May 2018 after Dr. Montejano announced his decision to step down as Principal of Holy Family School. We approached this task by moving through stages of a process that we determined would yield viable candidates for the position. Our goal was to identify two or three strong candidates who would be finalists for this position to visit on campus to meet our community. We launched the process with a series of stakeholder meetings with faculty, parents and Holy Family staff to identify the priorities for the new principal. The qualities that were continually requested were that the individual be an educational leader, a spiritual leader and an effective communicator with the entire community.

Once the criteria for the principal was defined, we moved to the second phase of the process. We developed a profile for the position and conducted a broad outreach, which included advertising the position through multiple sources and a solicitation of candidate names. We worked collaboratively with the Archdiocese to identify and screen candidates. The final phase was interviewing potential candidates. During that period, our committee reviewed over 30 resumes, participated in over 70 interview hours both by phone and in person (including a dozen candidates) and hosted one finalist for a 2 ½ day on-campus visit. After much discernment, a second finalist for this position (who was in the process of being scheduled for an on-campus visit) withdrew herself from consideration to accept a position outside of the field of education administration. Although we continued to look at other applicants to fulfill the goal of identifying two or three finalists, we were unable to find a strong viable candidate with comparable qualifications for the community to consider.

We are excited to announce that Mrs. Darcie Girmus has accepted the position of Principal at Holy Family School. We are thrilled that we were able to find such a strong candidate to lead Holy Family. For those of you who did not meet Darcie during her visit here, it is important to know that she has over 32 years of experience as an educator: 16 years in Catholic education and 6 years as Principal. She has a Masters of Arts in Catholic School Leadership and a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been the Principal at St. Mark Catholic School in Vienna, Virginia, for 6 years, after serving as an Assistant Principal and teacher. It is her wealth of experience in leadership and teaching in Catholic education that made her such a strong candidate for this position.

Many of you concurred with this positive assessment from meeting Darcie during her visit here earlier this month. Survey results revealed that an overwhelming majority of the stakeholders gave her a positive endorsement. In speaking with her references, they endorsed the outstanding qualities that many of us saw in Darcie which speak to her commitment, dedication to quality instruction, and her success in supporting faculty and students. She is a devoted Catholic who lives her faith. Darcie is highly supportive of teachers and their needs and a strong communicator with parents and faculty. By listening closely to parents and faculty, she works to build consensus throughout the community she serves. Darcie is passionate about doing what is best for the children at her school. She is very involved and dedicates extra time to attend after-school activities. Darcie’s development of a program of academic excellence at St. Mark’s and her passion for serving children makes her a perfect fit for our community. We believe that we have found a strong leader who appreciates the excellent reputation Holy Family enjoys throughout the Archdiocese. Darcie will be a very capable steward of that tradition moving forward.

We hope you will join us in giving Darcie a warm welcome to our wonderful Holy Family community. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mimi Butler at miriambu@usc.edu. In the coming weeks, we will share more details about Darcie’s transition to Holy Family School and when she will officially step into her leadership role.

We would not be in this position today without the support of Anne Regan-Smith and her generous heart and commitment to Holy Family in serving as Interim Principal during this school year. With Anne’s support and dedication in this role, the Search Committee was able to follow a robust, diligent and careful process to yield an extremely qualified candidate. We are grateful for her leadership this past year.

With thanks,

Mimi Butler, Chair, HFS Principal Search Committee
Cambria Tortorelli, Holy Family Church Parish Life Director
Christina Altmayer, President, HFS Board President


Holy Family School, 1301 Rollin St., South Pasadena, (626) 799-4354 or visit school.holyfamily.org/.








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