Editor's Note: In a few short weeks, we will welcome Melissa Ginther back to the St. Michael community, this time as the new principal of St. Michael Catholic School (StMCS). We asked her for a biographical overview similar to Fr. Brian Park's. Below is what she shared.
- I was born on a beautiful November day on Edwards Air Force Base in the desert of Kern County, California, alongside my identical twin, Sarah. My dad was reassigned to Maxwell AFB while we were still very young, so many of my childhood memories come from our time growing up in Millbrook, Ala.
- My parents both still work on Maxwell AFB. My dad, Norm, retired as a master sergeant and now works as the operations center manager at the national headquarters for Civil Air Patrol, while my mom, Teresa, serves as a financial management budget analyst for the headquarters of Air University.
- I have two siblings. My older brother, Josh, still lives in Millbrook and works as a financial specialist on base. My twin, Sarah, lives in Leesburg, Va., where she is in her ninth year as a youth minister for St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.
- Growing up, my parents thought keeping us busy was the best way for us to avoid getting into trouble. For the most part, they were correct, and my twin and I enjoyed participating in varsity softball, marching band and JROTC throughout high school.
- I consider myself a “former” athlete who still loves to enjoy a good game of ultimate frisbee and will talk college football with anyone within earshot...though many may disagree with my jersey choice when Minnesota plays Michigan for the Little Brown Jug.
- After high school, I played college softball for two years before taking a break to serve with NET Ministries (based in St. Paul). During my time with NET, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve on the first parish team for St. Michael-Albertville. In 2010,
- I completed my undergraduate degree at Southern Catholic College before spending a second year as a missionary with Life Teen Missions in Tiger, Ga. This became a springboard to my time as a youth minister at the Catholic Church of Saint Monica in Duluth, Ga.
- One fun fact is that over the last 12 years, I have had the incredible opportunity of taking more than 150 teenagers to serve alongside Mustard Seed Communities in Jamaica and Nicaragua.
- Following the Lord’s prompting and several providential encounters, I began teaching and coaching Softball at Saint Pius X in Atlanta while finishing my master's degree from Franciscan University in Theology and Christian Ministry.
- After a one-year reprieve, I knew there was more that the Lord was asking of me. Following the persistent promptings of our school’s president and several other trusted mentors, I decided to apply for and pursue a master of arts in Educational Leadership through the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame.
- My time with Notre Dame has deepened my love for the mission of Catholic education, immersed me in various catholic schools throughout the country and enabled me to catalyze changes within the instructional and cultural structures of Saint Pius X over the past three years.
- I love a good round of golf on a spring day, but I should warn you that everyone else on my foursome will look like they are the next PGA Tour champion next to me.
Said simply, I love Christ, I love the Church, I love the mission of Catholic education and truly believe we can continue to transform the Church of the third millennium through the formation of the young people we serve. I am excited to stand alongside the INCREDIBLE faculty and students of StMCS and am honored by the warm welcome I have already received.