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Schools: A letter from the new president of Stella Maris Academy

By Andrew Hilliker   
Guest columnist


My name is Andrew Hilliker, and I am excited to introduce myself to the Diocese of Duluth community! Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of visiting Stella Maris on a few occasions, and each time I witnessed the exceptional community, dedicated staff, and strong Catholic programming in place. It is an honor to be able to lead Stella Maris and be part of the remarkable future of Catholic education in Duluth.

Andrew Hilliker

For the past 11 years I have been part of the faculty at St. Joseph’s School in Moorhead — the last seven years as principal. In addition, I have served as the director of schools for the Diocese of Crookston for the last three years. In these ministries I saw through multiple lenses the impact and significance of Catholic education. Our work is important, and it is essential. Not only do our students need the stability and direction of the faith, but our families need us to fully support their domestic church.

Outside of my roles at St. Joseph’s School and the Diocese of Crookston, I serve as treasurer and onsite team chair of the Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (the diocese’s accrediting agency), am a Minnesota Catholic Conference Education Committee member, and am active in the Minnesota Independent School Forum. I have been truly blessed professionally to have developed relationships throughout Minnesota with very remarkable professionals.

As blessed as I am professionally, I am even more so personally. I am married to my beautiful wife, Rose; she is a school psychologist and works primarily in early-childhood special education. She has a true gift in supporting families that are raising kids with exceptional learning and developmental needs. We have three children: Lily is 5 years old and loving, a soon to be first-grader; Adalyn is 4 years old and beginning her journey at preschool; and Mack is our laid-back 1-year old. As outdoor enthusiasts, we are excited to be making our transition to the beautiful North Shore!

I truly look forward to meeting the faculty, staff, students, families, and community members that are invested in Stella Maris Academy. The academy has accomplished so much in coming together. I cannot wait to be part of that continued success in the future!

Many blessings,

Andrew Hilliker

Hilliker assumed his position as president of Stella Maris Academy on July 1.