St. Anthony welcomes new principal

By Maureen Smith
MADISON – St. Anthony School will have a new principal for the 2015/2016 school year, Jim Bell. Bell, a native of Cambridge, Mass., has spent his whole career in Catholic education, working at schools in Rochester, NY, and Huntsville, Ala. The students, faculty, parents and staff at St. Anthony School welcomed Bell the week of March 16, when he visited his new school.
“I was impressed with the academic record and the arts program at St. Anthony,” said Bell. He said he and his wife, who is from New Orleans, had been looking to move closer to the Crescent City when he saw the job opening at St. Anthony. “When I came to visit I just fell in love with the school and the people there,” he added.
A search committee spent months deciding what kind of leader the school might need and looking for the right fit for the community. Mike Kelly, who has two daughters at St. Anthony was on that committee. He said he wanted someone who could maintain both the academic excellence and Catholic identity of St. Anthony.
“Academic excellence is important, but so is the Catholic identity. You have to have both and I feel you can have both,” he explained. He said the committee liked Bell’s track record and felt like he was a good fit for the whole school community. “I wanted to find someone who could really move the school forward and that’s who we found,” said Kelly.
Bell and his family will move to the Madison area this summer and he will start work in July.