St. Anne's School students will see a new face in the principal's office this fall.
Randall Stanke, a licensed attorney and principal in Minnesota, was offered the position by a committee comprised of parish, school, diocese and Home & School members.
"I'm excited about meeting and working with St. Anne's parish and school community," Stanke said.
Stanke and his wife, Kathy, are natives of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. He attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Administration.
He earned his law degree in 1984 and spent the next several years as an attorney in Minnesota. Then he received a phone call that changed his life.
"The Minnesota Bar Association was looking for a coach for (high school) mock trials," Stanke recalled. "I coached mock trials for three years, and also taught a high school government class. I enjoyed it so much, that I went back to school to get my teaching license and Education Specialist Degree in Administration."
Stanke admits that leaving a lucrative job as an attorney for a teaching position was a cut in pay, but he doesn't regret the decision.
"I really didn't enjoy being an attorney," Stanke said. "Teaching is much more fulfilling."
Stanke has worked at various schools in Minnesota, as both a teacher and administrator, for the past 20 years.
He said the position of St. Anne's School principal attracted him for two reasons.
"I've been a long believer in Catholic school education," Stanke said, "and my wife and I have a desire to relocate to western or middle Wisconsin."
Stanke attended parochial elementary and high schools, so he can identify with St. Anne's School.
"You could say I'm a product of Catholic education," Stanke said.
As for moving back to their roots, Stanke and Kathy have two grown sons -- one married with children and the other attending the University of Wisconsin in River Falls.
Moving back to Wisconsin would shorten the commute for Kathy as well. She has worked in Maplewood at the 3M IT department for the past 25 years.
"We have a cabin in northern Wisconsin already," Stanke said. "But we're looking at getting a house in the Stillwater or Hudson areas."
When not working, Stanke said he and his wife enjoy spending time at their cabin, walking, reading, biking and cross-country skiing. They also are doting grandparents to their 2- and 4-year-old granddaughters.
As for assuming the St. Anne's School principalship, Stanke said his first objective is getting to know the staff, parents and students.
"It's a beautiful school that has a lot to offer the Somerset community," Stanke said. "I'm looking forward to this."