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Joplin Area Catholic Schools names Gilbreth new principal for middle, high schools

JOPLIN, MO ­– Joplin Area Catholic Schools welcomes Dr. Stephen “Steve” Gilbreth as the new principal of St. Peter’s Catholic Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School for the 2023-2024 school year, effective July 1, 2023.

“We are excited add Dr. Gilbreth to our team,” said Dr. Emily Yoakam, current principal of St. Peter’s and McAuley Catholic who takes over as director of schools on July 1. “He is a known difference maker whose positivity, knowledge, and expertise will be a blessing to our school and faith community.”

Gilbreth announced his retirement from Joplin Public Schools in February, where he currently serves as principal of Joplin High School.

“I am excited to have Dr. Gilbreth come on board as principal of St. Peter Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School,” said the Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. “His experience in education and administration, along with his deep faith, rooted in St. Peter Parish and his work with the Knights of Columbus will greatly enhance and move forward the mission of Catholic education in the Joplin Area Catholic School System. I look forward to working with him in the near future.”

Gilbreth received his bachelors of English education from Missouri Southern State University. His masters in administration and educational specialist degrees were obtained from Pittsburg State University. Gilbreth received his doctoral degree from St. Louis University.

In his 26 years in education, he has won numerous accolades including Golden Apple and Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. He was recently named Distinguished Alumnus from Missouri Southern State University.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students, faculty, staff, and parents of McAuley High School and St. Peter’s Middle School,” said Dr. Steve Gilbreth. “As a member of St. Peter’s Parish, I look forward to helping the community of the Joplin Area Catholic Schools.”

His parents graduated from St. Peter’s Catholic High School (now McAuley Catholic), and he attended St. Mary’s Elementary School. Gilbreth serves as a member of the Knights of Columbus, Fr. Harter Council #979.

An open house for St. Peter’s Middle School and McAuley Catholic is scheduled for Wednesday, April 12 at 7 p.m., which also serves as an opportunity to meet Dr. Gilbreth at the school.

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