New principal completes successful transition

Barthel: Students are most important to school's goals

Principal+Mrs.+Julie+Barthel+participated+in+a+presser+with+the+Megaphone+staff+on+Feb.+7.+

Gracie Carr

Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel participated in a presser with the Megaphone staff on Feb. 7.

Maddie Wirth

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Reporter

As Mr. Dave Worland moves into his new role of senior vice president for mission and advancement, Mrs. Julie Barthel fully takes on her position as principal.

Barthel is already brainstorming ideas and gaining feedback for academic and systematic changes. 

Barthel attended New Castle High School and went on to play volleyball at the University of North Carolina, where she received her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She later earned her master’s degree in educational leadership at Butler University. With her diverse resume in educational development, Barthel has taught at a variety of different levels and schools.

Barthel began as an elementary teacher in Perry Township and served as the head volleyball coach at Ben Davis High School. Later, Barthel served as vice principal for curriculum and instruction here from 2002-2015 and as vice principal for North Central High School from 2015-2019. 

When Barthel saw the open position as principal, she said, “This is a special place. I wanted to come back here.” The Barthel family is certainly familiar with the school. Barthel’s sons, Connor Barthel ‘11 and Collin Barthel ‘14; her daughter freshman Caiti Barthel; and her husband, quarterback coach Mr. Tim Barthel; have made the Barthel name well known on campus for years.

Barthel also took into account everything that she had built up at North Central. “I did not take lightly leaving the contract at North Central.”

Barthel added that the differences between the two schools were “more similar than dissimilar.” Barthel said that although North Central is bigger and more diverse, the commonalities were evident. Barthel said, “They’re both high performing schools and people are proud to wear the (school) logo on their chest.”

Barthel said there are some elements from North Central that she would like to bring into her new role. She said, “One thing I do like is the way they honor their students. They have a Top 25 program. They also do something with the Student of the Month. They have core values there and each teacher picks (a student) and they have a separate value. I think we could do something like that easily with our Holy Cross Core values.”

As Barthel transitions into her new role, she said that her first goal is to reconnect with staff and students. Barthel said, “For this semester I’m not planning on making many changes. I’m trying to build relationships and make sure they feel supported.”

Barthel said the future changes that she is considering involve “looking at structure and getting feedback. I think the most important thing in a school are the students. So we need student feedback.”

Barthel wants intake not only from current students, but also from alumni. Barthel said, “When I was here before, that was a big piece of my job, to bring recent graduates back to make sure that they got what they felt they needed from a college preparatory high school. One thing that I know that’s big for are authentic experiences.” Barthel said the school could benefit from having “the largest alumni base in the state of Indiana. We need to use that base to get those people in here to help with jobs and relations, internships and externships.”

Academic changes were also on the list for Barthel. “We need more options for (students). We need electives and classes that will help you get to where you want to be. We need more dual credit opportunities and more classes to support our diversity.” Barthel also mentioned hybrid classes, more inner-disciplinary courses and increased summer school options.

A major academic adjustment for the future is the new Innovation Center, Barthel said the new Innovation Center, that will begin construction this summer, needs “teachers that will embrace innovation, partnerships and branding.” Barthel added that the building will be a great way to increase the authentic experiences. 

Lanyards and drug tests were both heartedly approved by Barthel, who said both provide “safety and security” for students. 

Although Barthel does not plan on making any changes this year, she said she wants to get to know each student and wants everyone to know that her door is always open.