Chief Warrant Officer Paul Preblich grew up in Ely, Minnesota and not wanting to go into the mining industry, he joined the United States Army until he could “figure out what he wanted to do with his life”. Well, Preblich figured it out all right, the Army was his calling as was teaching. Before joining Saint Thomas Academy in 2003 as a military instructor, Preblich was a career soldier.
Working on an oral history of the Saint Thomas Academy football program for the Saber magazine recently, it quickly became apparent that the program was built by men of character, who used the program to build more men of character.
Oddly, not many people interviewed for the article mentioned that word, “character.” It’s just as well, because both the word and the concept of a person’s character are hard to define. A common explanation for “character” is “what a person does when nobody is looking.”
As a seasoned educator with a broad range of experiences at Saint Thomas Academy spanning more than 25 years, Jamie Jurkovich was appointed Director of Saint Thomas Academy Middle School in 2011. He began his first full-time teaching position of his career in the fall of 1994, when he was hired to teach geography at the Academy. Mr. Jurkovich is currently the moderator of both the Quiz Bowl and Knowledge Bowl teams, and has coached football, basketball, baseball and even served as the assistant college counselor. He is passionate about educational travel, having chaperoned numerous Saint Thomas Academy service-learning trips to Guatemala, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
In her third year of teaching English at Saint Thomas Academy, specifically in the Middle School, Melissa Kelly loves interacting with kids. She didn’t start out as a teacher, but life has a funny way of showing you the successful path to follow. “I first wanted to be a lawyer, but I went to college for journalism and ended up working in marketing when I graduated.” After working for several years for AT&T and T Mobile as a regional operations marketing manager it became difficult to raise a young family. Her husband is in the National Army Guard and as a LTC Battle Commander for Field Artillery and saw tours of duty in Europe and Iraq. “I knew I needed to find a career that had roots.”
This spring the VISTA band will take to the international stage as it goes on tour throughout Europe. On this nine day trip during spring break, the band will visit Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. They will have the opportunity to play in major concert venues and small villages alike.