Stephen Kidd was content working as principal at St. James Catholic School in Millstadt, but when he learned Gibault Catholic High School’s principal position was open, he had to apply.
Kidd had been wanting to get into high school for some time, and he knew the school from working nearby and being friends with recently retired Gibault principal Russ Hart.
So, Kidd was thrilled when he learned he got the job.
“I cannot imagine a better place to move,” he said. “I would never have moved laterally just as a principal because I love St. James. I was very close to the community and the families there, but this is kind of an ultimate dream job for me. I’m not sure that there is another high school that would have been more attractive to me.”
Bishop Edward Braxton announced he had appointed Kidd the last week of July. He said he picked Kidd for two reasons.
“The first is his long experience as a teacher and administrator in our Catholic schools, during which he has demonstrated his commitment to excellence in every aspect of the education of the students,” Braxton said. “The second and equally important reason is his manifest commitment to his Catholic faith and the church’s reason for maintaining Catholic schools.”
Kidd, who is a member of St. James Parish in Millstadt, has worked at the school there since 2014.
Highlights of his tenure at St. James include growing enrollment, implementing a 1:1 technology model and improving the safety and security of the school.
Prior to his time there, Kidd worked for 13 years as a math teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Regional Catholic School in Herrin. While there, he also coached several sports, Scholar Bowl and sponsored the math team.
Prior to that, Kidd worked several jobs in business, including sales.
“At some point, I realized where my real calling was,” he recalled.
When that happened, Kidd went back to school at 34, obtaining his teaching degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He then went to McKendree University to get his master’s at 45.
He said all his experience helps him in his current job, which he started Aug. 1.
“It just gave me a nice background – a good knowledge of the business side as well as the teaching side,” the Freeburg resident noted. “I think it’s a good combination.”
Kidd said the job has been going well so far, though he is only a few days in.
“I’ve been very well received,” he said. “I know some of the faculty, and those I didn’t, I couldn’t imagine different people at this point. I’m very lucky to have the staff and people here that I’ve met so far. It’s such a great vibe. People love Gibault.”
Knowing that, Kidd said he does not plan to make any major changes at first, as he wants to spend time learning.
“My goal this first year is just to become a part of Gibault’s community, and that means the Waterloo community and all the outreach faculty, staff and students do,” he said.
When he is not working, Kidd is active in retreat life and in the De Colores en Cristo movement, which calls people to a renewed faith or to convert.
He will celebrate his 30th anniversary with his wife, Suzanne, this month.
The couple has three children – Katelyn, Travis and Mitchell – all of whom have already graduated high school. They also have a grandson, Griffin.
For those who want to learn more about Kidd, he encouraged them to visit.
“My door is open if anybody wants to stop in and just say ‘hi’ and introduce themselves, which is my favorite part: just getting to know the community,” he said.