By KATIE BORKOWSKI
CARROLL – “It’s been a good run,” said Tim Fitzpatrick of his 39 years in the Kuemper Catholic School System.
Fitpatrick is currently the 7-12 activities director at Kuemper and will retire on June 30.
Looking back, what kept him in the Kuemper system for so many years was “the closeness, the family atmosphere you get in our Catholic schools and knowing that kids come here and parents send them here first and foremost for their faith.”
“That faith permeates everything we do and say,” he added. “We can pray in class, during class and in moments of good and bad. Our faith will get us through. That’s what I really enjoyed about it.”
Fitzpatrick grew up on a farm south of Churdan. He graduated from Briar Cliff College in 1978 and received a master’s of science degree in education in 1996 from Drake University.
When sending out resumes almost four decades ago, Fitzpatrick discovered the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sioux City were in need. He was put in contact with Sister Mary Myron Stork in Carroll and had an interview.
“That was the end of that,” he said. “I was hooked.”
Time at Kuemper
Fitzpatrick began at Kuemper as a teacher and coach for 16 years at St. Lawrence. He was then the principal in Templeton for nine years.
“When we closed all of the surrounding schools and brought everyone into Kuemper, I was the fourth and fifth grade assistant principal for two years,” he said. “I have been activities director for 12 years. I never had to move because I like Carroll.”
In the “early days” Fitzpatrick taught a lot of subjects – math, science, social studies, physical education and he even directed art. He has coached about every sport – football, basketball, track, volleyball, softball and soccer.
The activities director has enjoyed “getting to know the kids and their families, getting immersed in your community and knowing how we all fit and interact together.”
“I used to know where everybody lived and what their parents did,” he said. “Being a teacher, you are very close to the kids at all times, so you get to know them on a more personal level. That’s the part I really enjoyed – watching them grow up, knowing how their families are doing and going to church together.”
When he became part of the Carroll community, Fitzpatrick became involved in a number of organizations– Rotary, Meals on Wheels, Knights of Columbus and United Way.
“I announced at ball games for various events,” he said. “I have been a state softball, volleyball and basketball announcer for many years.”
Kind of retiring
After Fitzpatrick retires, he plans to get his bus license and help out with transportation at Kuemper, either driving a route or driving for activities.
“We always need bus drivers,” he said. “They always need people to paint lines on soccer and football fields, so I will help out there when I can.”
Fitzpatrick and his wife Ann, the human resources director at St. Anthony’s Regional Hospital, have two daughters, Katie and Kelly. Katie attended Kuemper and Kelly went to the public school for special education.
Ann Fitzpatrick, has teased that she has to “work twice as hard” now that her husband is retiring.
“I’ll stay busy,” he insisted. “I have plenty of hobbies and projects at home to do.”
When leaving Kuemper, Fitzpatrick explained he will “first and foremost” miss the people – fellow teachers, administrators and coaches.
“All of the secretaries I have worked with or who have worked for me have been fabulous over the years and everybody loves the cooks and custodians,” he said. “I have just enjoyed everybody I have worked with in the school family.”
Though Fitzpatrick will miss being around the students every day, he hopes – as a bus driver –to stay “connected.”