By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
A familiar face at the St. Mary-Sacred Heart School in North Attleborough has taken on a new leadership role.
Lisa Serak, the school’s middle school ELA teacher for the last 15 years, has been named the new principal. In an announcement, Father Rodney Thibault, pastor of Transfiguration of the Lord Parish and the school’s director, said Serak’s appointment is effective immediately.
“It is such a pleasure to announce Lisa’s appointment to this very important role as her extensive educational leadership and experience will guide St. Mary-Sacred Heart School well into the future,” said Father Thibault in the announcement.
Serak is a lifelong Catholic educator who had previously taught at Bishop Feehan High School and St. Mary Academy-Bay View. Bishop Feehan was her first teaching position, from 1992-1993. She was at St. Mary Academy from 1993-1997 and returned to Bishop Feehan until 2002. She was also the school’s cheerleading coach, beginning in 1998 and was the head of the cheerleading program from 1992-2007. Serak was chair of the social studies department at Bishop Feehan.
When asked about the challenges of being principal, she said the scope of responsibility is extensive.
“Principals are accountable for all aspects of the school and this can be a daunting and overwhelming task,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Reporter.
Serak’s career at the St. Mary School began under the leadership of Denise Peixoto, and she said that time made her the educator she is today. Serak said she witnessed Peixoto’s selfless dedication to the school each day.
“Seeing that type of passion in our school instilled in me the values of a true SMSH Saint. Her love for SMSH and all aspects of our community have inspired me to continue my vocation at SMSH,” she said. “In addition to Denise’s influence, my years of service at SMSH are a credit to the community of past and present faculty and staff, students and families. SMSH is a special place and I am excited to see what my tenure as its next steward entails.”
As the new principal, Serak intends to maintain the holistic, faith-centered educational programming and identify new opportunities for community development, as well as inspire the students to meet the high expectations with support.
Serak is been a product of Catholic education. She credited religious leaders such as the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of the Holy Union, the Christian Brothers, and devoted lay teachers to shaping her formative years. Serak has two master’s degrees in Secondary Education/History and Educational Leadership from Rhode Island College and Bridgewater State University, respectively. She has been nominated for multiple national teacher awards, such as the Disney American Teacher Award, as well as the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers Award. In 1992, Mrs. Serak received the Bishop Feehan Distinguished Alumni Award.
“Not only will I continue the long-standing Catholic traditions of our school that make SMSH uniquely SMSH, I will also build upon Mrs. Lourenco’s commitment to the development of our students’ character and most recently the implementation of the Social-Emotional Learning Program,” said Serak.