Dear Costa Academy Staff, Students, Parents, Community Members, Alumni, Supporters, Friends, and Stakeholders:
It is with great pride and excitement that I greet you as the new Principal of Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg, IL. I literally just was hired and my first day on the job was this Monday, so please be patient with me as I transition into the job. I am honored to lead a school with such a rich tradition of Catholic spiritual strength and academic excellence! Costa Catholic Academy has enjoyed tremendous success since it was established in 1879, 138 years ago! The results have not materialized by accident. It has been through the hard work, dedication, and partnerships that have existed between school staff, parents, community members, supporters, and the most important stakeholders in the equation, the student body.
I am humbled and most appreciative of the opportunity presented to me to become a member of this educational family. I have been privileged to have spent 33 wonderful years as a public-school educator working with students from the elementary, middle and high school, and collegiate levels. I have 27 years of administrative experience as a Superintendent, High School Principal, and PreK-8 Principal, and 6 years of elementary teaching experience and athletic coach that has prepared me for this opportunity. I retired from the Illinois Teachers Retirement System with 35 years of creditable service on June 30, 2017, knowing that I wanted to continue serving the needs of children for the next several years. The commonality in the three decades of experience has been the collaboration with others to provide the best possible education experiences for students. As the instructional leader of Costa Catholic Academy, I enthusiastically embrace the task of continuing to utilize fiscal, human, and material resources at my disposal to ensure that students are prepared with the necessary tools to be productive citizens as they write the next chapters of their educational lives moving toward high school, postsecondary education, and/or the workforce. I realize that differentiated, rigorous, and relevant instruction that meets the needs of each student will be the vehicle to continuing the success that has been experienced. The learning environment must be as safe and secure as possible for all students, staff, and support personnel. A team approach most definitely is necessary to create and maintain that desired learning environment. I look forward to the exchange of ideas as we all work in harmony for many years to come.
On a personal level, I have been married for 34 years, have 4 grown children and a son that is a senior in high school this year, and am a practicing Catholic. I like spending time with family and friends, and really enjoy college football and basketball as well as attending Kenny Chesney concerts.
All of us at Costa Catholic Academy are eager and excited to begin what promises to be a very positive and productive year together! This year we will continue to provide academic experiences for our students that are rigorous, relevant and build relationships. As your Principal, it is important to me that everyone who steps through our doors—teachers and staff, students, parents, community members, supporters, and other stakeholders—are excited to be here! This attitude will enable us to meet the challenges of academic excellence in a positive, fun, and nurturing environment. I want all of you to know and trust me that last year is over. It is a fresh, new start. Healing will happen and enrollment will increase in the near future. Those are my initial two areas of focus and I hope and trust that you all will join me to make this a reality.
Please also know that I highly value home/school communication here at Costa Catholic Academy. It is vital and plays an integral role in each student’s success. Please do not hesitate to contact us if/when the need arises. We will do likewise. We want and encourage our parents to stay in the know about their child’s studies, assignments, assessments, and school activities, as well as other events and happenings.
I have much to learn about our school, and I would hope the Catholic parishes and others share their family stories with me. I want to know your expectations, your wishes, and your concerns. I want to build a school where the entire community is welcome to come and learn, and a school where students are offered premier academic preparation as they learn about Catholic values and tradition. Again, I welcome you to Costa Catholic Academy and to our wonderful, spiritual, professional learning community! I encourage you to visit and I look forward to meeting you.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to serve as Costa Catholic Academy Principal. I feel truly blessed to be the Principal this year and it is my intention to serve for many years to follow.
Mr. Joe Buresh
Costa Catholic Academy Principal