Holy Family School's new principal cherished the first all-school prayer service with her new students — as eighth graders agreed excitedly to participate by reading scriptures and singing in the choir.

Holy Family School’s new principal cherished the first all-school prayer service with her new students — as eighth graders agreed excitedly to participate by reading scriptures and singing in the choir.

“I was so touched by how beautiful and reverent the children were,” Holy Family School Principal Sister Betty Uchytil, School Sisters of Notre Dame, said.

From the moment she joined Holy Family School as principal, Uchytil felt welcomed by her new family, smiling as she recalled the hugs she received from children during the first day of school. After coming from a similarly-sized school in Sheboygan, Wisc., Uchytil looked forward to the chance to lead her new school amid its 150th anniversary and forge new bonds throughout her new community.

For her entire career, Uchytil has been a part of elementary education as a teacher or principal. After ten years in public schools in Superior, Wisc., she joined the religious community and worked with Sisters from Wisconsin to Japan.

In 1999 and 2000, Uchytil joined Sisters from Kyoto, Japan, on a mission in Nepal to provide education to children in a mountaintop village, until a Maoist insurgency spurred a temporary closure of the school and evacuation of the children for safety. Today, the school thrives with more than 600 students, she said.

After looking at several school positions throughout the international religious community, Uchytil discovered warm welcomes at Holy Family School.

“People were so warm and welcoming and inviting,” she said. “They had such an enthusiasm for this parish.”

As the new principal, Uchytil felt excited to connect with all of the students. She enjoyed mingling with the children during lunch, and she especially loved greeting each student at the beginning of the school day and seeing their joy as they shuffled off for sports practice or family activities in the afternoons.

A Mass, with Bishop Gaydos, and a turkey dinner will commemorate Holy Family School’s 150th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 19. Uchytil appreciated the opportunity for fellowship among alumni and parents who support the school.

Uchytil also felt blessed to work with gifted veteran teachers who provide an excellent education for Holy Family students. She joins a new fourth grade teacher for 2015-2016, Sally Doris. Uchtytil felt eager to continue providing a quality environment for students to grow into future leaders, collaborating with teachers and other members of the religious community.

Throughout the school day, Uchytil loves popping in and out of classrooms and witnessing special projects, like music and art.

The process begins well before the first classes start, as Uchytil and teachers pray together each morning.

“It’s a beautiful time to share our hopes and dreams for the day,” she said.

Holy Family School shared a warm welcome with Uchytil, and she looks forward to sharing the same sentiments with all those around her.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com.