Becoming a Catholic School Leader 

January 17, 2024

This article is from the Fulcrum Foundation 2023 Community Report.

Shauna Richards always wanted to be a teacher. 

“I have a twin sister and when we were little, we would play school together. I was always the teacher,” Shauna recalled. “My second-grade teacher had such an impact on me. This has been my life-long dream.” 

For the past 15 years, Shauna has been living that dream. She taught in public schools and Catholic schools, before moving into administrative roles such as dean of students, director of pre-kindergarten, and director of admissions. Now, Shauna is taking on a new role: principal of St. Joseph Parish School in Issaquah and Snoqualmie.  

“When I stepped up as dean of students, I knew becoming principal would be my trajectory,” Shauna said. “In the five years since then, I’ve had so many leadership opportunities to learn and grow, including GRACE and the Leadership Academy. I feel so much more competent in my abilities to lead a community now.” 

Shauna joined the Fulcrum-funded GRACE (Growing Reflective Authentic Catholic Educators) program when she was still a second-grade teacher at St. Joseph. GRACE allowed Shauna to collaborate with teachers outside of her own school and receive resources to better help students in the classroom. 

She also participated in the Fulcrum-funded Leadership Academy. “It was the first time I had the opportunity to sit with other administrators. It was interesting to learn about the dynamics of each school and how principals use their talents to help their schools. There were so many ingenious and innovative ideas that were shared,” Shauna said.  

Shauna said she was looking forward to her first year as principal at St. Joseph and feels ready to step up and lead, in part thanks to her training through GRACE and the Leadership Academy. “The work that’s being done to build leadership capacity is so powerful. It’s important to know that there are so many great resources and people to lean on and ask questions of. These programs helped me become the leader I am and I can still depend on them. It feels really nice to be in this position, knowing that I have people in my corner.” 

Download the 2023 Community Report.