Former St. Patrick teacher returns to become school’s principal


Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.

St. Patrick Interparish School will welcome a familiar face this summer.

“My new slogan is ‘welcome home,’ for everyone,” said Frank Mackritis, a former St. Patrick teacher who takes over as principal on July 1.

He succeeds former Principal Mark Akerman, who after four years at the school is moving to Alabama.

Mackritis moved back home to Alachua County in 2003 after retiring from the Air Force.

He earned a teaching degree while in the military and in the fall of 2003 started teaching fifth- and sixth-grade geography and world history at St. Patrick, a private Catholic school that encompasses students from age 3 voluntary prekindergarten to eighth grade.

While teaching, Mackritis earned a master’s degree in administration from the University of Phoenix online and in 2008 applied to be assistant principal at St. Francis Catholic High School. He spent five years at St. Francis, where he also taught theology, church history and morality.

When the principal’s position opened up at St. Patrick, Mackritis decided it was time to return.

One of his goals is to upgrade the technology at the school.

Mackritis pointed to St. Francis’s use of MacBooks and Queen of Peace Catholic Academy’s iPad program.

“As kids are growing up today, they have all that stuff at their fingertips,” he said, so it’s important to be able to integrate the technology with the curriculum.

He said he also hopes to grow and strengthen St. Patrick’s voluntary prekindergarten program, which will move into larger classrooms this year.

Above all, Mackritis said, he wants to keep students learning at a high level while maintaining a focus on spirituality and Catholic identity.

Ernie Herrington, principal of St. Francis, said Mackritis will do well in his new post.

“He is just a very even-keeled person,” Herrington said of the former assistant principal, whom he’s known for about 10 years.

“We’re sorry that he’s gone, but what a great opportunity for him,” he said.

Contact Erin Jester at 352-338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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