Mr. Joe Carlson selected as next Principal of St. Francis High School

Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (GTACS) has selected Joseph (Joe) Carlson as the next Principal of Traverse City St. Francis High School.

May 19, 2023…GTACS Superintendent Michael Buell is pleased to announce that  Mr. Joe Carlson will be the next principal of St. Francis High School.

Mr. Carlson joins us from Escanaba, Michigan, where he has been Principal of Holy Name Catholic School since 2008. Before becoming Principal, Mr. Carlson taught at St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Gaylord, where he also served one year as Assistant to the Principal. He graduated from Petoskey High School and then earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Michigan University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University.

Joe’s wife of 17 years, Annie, is a Gaylord St. Mary’s “Snowbird” and a teacher by trade. Up until the birth of the couple’s sixth child, Theresa, in December, she was teaching Latin. She was also instrumental in the re-opening of the Escanaba Holy Name High School.

The Carlson’s school-aged children will be enrolling at GTACS for the fall: Joseph (16), a junior; John David (14), a freshman; Tommy (12), 7th grade; Maria (10), 5th grade; and Timmy (7), 2nd grade.

Multiple candidates were considered for the role previously held by Dr. Erick Chittle, who is moving on to become President of Pope John Paul II Preparatory in Nashville.

Superintendent Mike Buell says, “God provided us with several excellent candidates, all of whom would have made great principals. However, Joe’s continuous improvement mentality, his experience advocating for teachers, and his Christ-centered leadership style make him an excellent fit for our school.”

Mr. Carlson had this to say about his new role: “Although I am still in Escanaba, my heart has already moved to Traverse City.  I am humbled to have this opportunity to serve at St. Francis High School and look forward to serving with the rest of the GTACS staff to bring more souls to know, love, and serve Jesus.  Be assured of my prayers for all of you and please keep me in yours.”

Welcome, Mr. Carlson and family!

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