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Hamlin retires after 13 years as Cathedral principal

"I love what I do," said Superior Cathedral School Principal Roy Hamlin, 62. "I'm here at 6:15 every morning. I don't leave until late." Love of the job has kept Hamlin at Cathedral for the past 13 years. "He's really spent a lot of his time and ...

"I love what I do," said Superior Cathedral School Principal Roy Hamlin, 62. "I'm here at 6:15 every morning. I don't leave until late."
Love of the job has kept Hamlin at Cathedral for the past 13 years.
"He's really spent a lot of his time and energy here," said John Szarke, development director for the school.
This spring, after 35 years of working in the education field, Hamlin will retire. He cited stress, health and the need to allow other people to get into the lead role as reasons for his retirement.
Paul Uhren of Balsam Lake, a teacher of 11 years, will be Cathedral's new principal.
"He's a fine young man who I am sure will do a good job here," said Hamlin.
Hamlin began his career in education as a sixth-grade teacher in Hermantown. He spent eight years teaching, then moved on to a principal position at Pequot Lakes.
"I went into (administration) because I think we need to make an impact on the system," said Hamlin. "Teachers can make an impact on the students, not the system."
He served as principal at Pequot Lakes for five years, at Proctor for eight years and at Crosby for one year. Then, Hamlin crossed the bridge to Cathedral, where he found a completely different type of school.
"You really can't compare the two," he said of public and private education.
One of the big differences, said Hamlin, was the parent involvement at Cathedral. Nearly 250 volunteers were honored at a special Mass recently.
Another major difference with a private school is the aspect of faith.
"To be able to teach that there is a God," said Hamlin, "gives us a responsibility to be the best we can be."
Of all his many memories at the school, Hamlin said, his favorite is students singing.
"When I see kids singing at concerts or in the classroom, and they're singing about God, that's the epitome of what we do," he said.
Yet times are changing.
"We are experiencing the social ills of broken homes like everyone else," said Hamlin. "It's getting tough out there -- the guns, the violence, the loss of security."
This school year, Cathedral instructors started wearing identification badges as a security measure. Since this fall, gates to the school's playground have been kept locked. The door to the tunnel between the school and Cathedral of Christ the King Church is also kept locked now.
There have been positive changes under Hamelin too.
* Last fall the school opened a new technology lab.
* A new uniform policy went into effect last fall. "It has taken the issue of 'I have something better than you do' out of the school," said Hamlin. "It's completely gone."
* The school switched over from junior high staffing (grades 7-9) to middle school staffing (grades 6-8).
* Faith-development training for staff was set in place.
"At one time, Cathedral was staffed by nuns," Hamlin said. "Now it's completely lay staff. It's a major change from the Catholic school of old." These lay staff, Hamlin said, need to be trained in religion "just like they need to be trained in technology."
Hamlin's retirement plans are simple --play some golf, do some fishing and be a good husband to his wife.
"I've spent 35 years working with highly-educated people who care," said Hamlin. "I've had the best of both worlds." What he has learned from those diverse, yet not so different worlds of public and private schools is that "we need both in our community."

Maria Lockwood is a reporter for the Superior Daily Telegram, a Murphy McGinnis Newspaper.

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