By Stephanie Brown
JACKSON – On Dec. 17, 2020, Vicksburg Catholic School announced that Katie Emfinger would take the reigns as the new director for the Sisters of Mercy Early Learning Center, set to open in late spring. Emfinger currently serves as the Title I and Resource Teacher at St. Francis Xavier, the Elementary Campus of Vicksburg Catholic School. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable as the community welcomes its youngest learners.
Emfinger received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Belhaven University and her M.Ed. from Mississippi College. In 2010, she received her National Board Certification. While the early learning center will be a part of the Vicksburg Catholic School umbrella, assuming the role of director brings on the responsibility and exciting opportunity to build organizational culture from the ground up. Starting with a brand-new facility and staff, Emfinger will build on the strong Catholic environment found in VCS while also making the center its own unique entity. When asked what she is most looking forward to in her new position, she said, “I am looking forward to creating a loving, enriching environment, along with my team at the Sisters of Mercy Early Learning Center, for all children.”
Having been a member of the Vicksburg Catholic family for five years, Emfinger recognizes the value of educating the whole child. Her strong academic background, combined with her desire to teach in the Light of Christ, will surely create an environment where all children can thrive.
Emfinger recognizes the importance of building a true sense of community in the new facility and hopes to create a place where children grow and parents are confident in the care the center provides. “I am also looking forward to not only watching our children grow physically, but watching them grow spiritually, intellectually, socially, and emotionally as well. I want our children to leave every day knowing they are loved.”
St. Francis Xavier Principal Mary Arledge said, “When working in a school with loving and caring teachers and staff as we have at St. Francis Xavier, you become more of a family than coworkers. Katie has been part of the family for five years, and she is everything that an Early Learning Center needs for a director. She is a warm, loving, gentle, and caring person who makes a perfect fit when caring not only for infants through 3-year-olds but also for the new mothers who may leave their child for the first time. Katie is dedicated to the field of education and excited to begin educating the youngest learners of Vicksburg Catholic School.”
(Stephanie Brown is the assistant superintendent of the Office of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Jackson.)