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BLOOMINGTON — The associate principal at Central Catholic High School was named Thursday to succeed longtime principal Joy Allen, who is retiring June 30.

Sean Foster, who has been at CCHS for five years, told an auditorium filled with students, “I am excited and feel blessed to take on this new role” and said he will take on the new role with “a sense of stewardship.”

Praising the work Allen has done in her 23 years as principal, Foster said, “Our task is to build upon this foundation.”

Allen said Foster will bring “innovative and new ideas” as principal. He completed a program at the University of Notre Dame aimed at providing leaders in Catholic education and received a master's in educational administration.

Foster, 33, lives in Bloomington with his wife, Lauren, and their two children. While at Central Catholic, Foster has taught theology, coached basketball and chaired the theology department. Foster said he loves teaching and will miss being in the classroom every day, but is looking forward to the challenges of being principal.

Among those challenges are working to increase enrollment, which has fallen from a high of 423 in 2009 to its current 346, and incorporating more technology into the curriculum.

Foster is working on a one-to-one technology program, in which each student will have a computer, and ensuring faculty get the training to make best use of those computers.

He also plans to introduce a “house” system at CCHS that will group freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors together, with older students mentoring younger ones. He said such an approach has been shown to improve academic achievement, build a stronger sense of community and increase enrollment.

Allen choked back tears as she spoke about leaving the school, triggering loud cheers from the students when she said, “Once a Saint, always a Saint.”

Allen said, “I'm full of pride for what we've accomplished together and full of gratitude for the 23 years here.”

When Allen became principal, the school had 213 students. During her tenure, CCHS has broadened its curriculum and increased advanced placement courses as well as ACT composite scores. She oversaw the planning, campaign and design of the current school on Airport Road that opened in fall 2003 and the campaign for and construction of the Bill Hundman Memorial Stadium completed two years later.

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