‘Part of a larger family’: After more than 20 years in other capacities, God put details into place for Kozelsky to become principal

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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HOLLANDALE — Susan Kozelsky, principal at Hollandale Christian School, is in her second year as principal, though being principal was not originally her goal.

“I did not seek it out,” she said. “It was brought to me, and it was completely God putting all of the details into place.”

Kozelsky said that for various reasons there had been principal turnover at the school, and felt there needed to be stability and consistency. In fact, she and Deb Louters, who taught kindergarten at the school for 37 years, saw ways to get the school “back on track” and wanted to be part of that process.

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And last year, the duo served as co-principals.

But being in education wasn’t what she originally thought she wanted to do.

“When I originally graduated from high school, I had started to pursue a career to be a registered dietitian,” she said. “Partway into that, I just was thinking this is not what I wanted to do.”

So she started praying on it, and noticed she enjoyed teaching and children, a combination that goes together.

After her children started at Hollandale Christian School, she started teaching again.

Serving as principal has reinforced how much she enjoyed supporting others, and she doesn’t mind being behind the scenes while supporting them.

“For families that are looking for alternative ways of education, and if faith is important to their family, it would be great for them to reach out, see what we’re about,” she said. “We’re more than just a group of teachers educating children.

“When your family comes to Hollandale Christian School, you are part of a larger family.”

Kozelsky said the most important part of her job involved supporting the staff to let them be “the best teachers that they need to be for their students.”

That means ensuring they get help and ensuring the school equips students to be prepared for the outside world.

During a typical day, she’ll greet students and staff in the morning, with students arriving after 7 a.m.

“Then, I’ll usually go around and say ‘good morning’ to the staff, make sure that they’re ready to start their day,” she said. “Then there’s usually things to take care of as far as emails, phone calls, busy-ness stuff.”

While at her office, students will stop by when they need something.

“Out here at a small school, we all have to be willing to have eight different jobs, like school nurse/school therapist where the child needs to be comforted,” she said. “Calling parents, making copies, all of those things.”

Her most enjoyable part as principal is her students, while she said it was challenging to find ways to keep some students motivated and doing their best.

“As kids get older and they’re wanting more responsibility, they don’t always know what’s best for them, so just being able to continue to guide them and share wisdom is challenging,” she said.

Prior to becoming principal, Kozelsky had served at Hollandale Christian School in some capacity for 20 years. She has also taught summer school at Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester.

“I supposed I have about 23, 24 years under my belt,” she said.

She and her husband moved to Albert Lea in 2000.

“Being Christians and having faith be the most import thing in our lives, we wanted our boys to be taught in a faith-based school,” she said. “We saw Hollondale and came out here and toured the school and met some of the teachers at that time.

“This is where we decided to send our boys.”

For parents or guardians considering aprivate school for their child, Kozelsky said to call the school at 507-889-3321, email info@hollandalechristian.org or visit hollandalechristian.org.