Cathedral School principal to stay for another year

Published 12:01 am Monday, August 8, 2016

NATCHEZ — Cathedral School Principal Pat Sanguinetti said he has agreed to serve the school for one more year.

Sanguinetti had announced in January his plans to leave the school at the end of the 2015-16 school year. But not long after he made the announcement, officials with the school came to him in February to ask him to be principal for one more year.

“This is where I have been all my life — for 27 years,” he said. “The bottom line was I wasn’t going to leave them stranded.”

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The school will begin a national search for a principal in the near future, Sanguinetti said.

The long-time principal said he’s not looking to retire, but rather for a change of scenery.

“I am a believer that a life of a principal at a school is about seven years,” he said. “Some may outlast that, and there are a ton of others who don’t come close to it, whether it’s their choice or the choice of a committee.”

With seven years, Sanguinetti said a principal has had a chance to graduate one group of seventh graders. Going into his fifteenth year, he’s done it multiple times.

“It’s good for a change,” he said. “You get set in your ways, so it’s good for a new person to come in with new ideas and do things a little differently.”

Sanguinetti said he has a lot left to give, and he’d like the challenge of making an impact elsewhere.

“I want to take my ideas of things I’ve done here that have been successful and go to another school and use them,” he said. “And I can tell you that there have been ideas that were not worth a flip, and I won’t use them when I’m in a new place.”

Sanguinetti said the bad ideas and growing pains are often why schools lose some good instructors after a year or two.

“Once you have gotten through that first year and you get an opportunity to leave, I promise that makes you a better teacher somewhere else,” he said. “You have learned from your mistakes in the first year, and you will not do it that way somewhere else.

“If you stay in the same place, the kids will always remember how you were that first year — and they will remind you.”

Sanguinetti said he hopes to know where he is going by December. And if the good Lord doesn’t find him a location to be a principal, he said he’ll be more than happy to get back in the classroom and teach math.

And Sanguinetti said who knows, he’s got a love for this community and he could return at the end of his career — approximately 12 years from now.

“I love this school,” he said. “I may come back and retire.”