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BACK TO SCHOOL: Sophia Academy welcomes new principal
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
July 31, 2013 03:24 PM | 2243 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
From left, new principal Michelle Zierten and Sophia Academy Founder Marie Corrigan.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, new principal Michelle Zierten and Sophia Academy Founder Marie Corrigan.
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As parents get ready to send their children off for a new school year, Sophia Academy prepares for its new principal Michelle Zierten.

Zierten said she was looking at principal jobs around the Atlanta area when she learned of the school’s new position. Since the establishment of the school 15 years ago, founding Director Marie Corrigan acted as both principal and head of school. With the school growing in size and the addition of a 10th-grade, Corrigan said she thought it was necessary to divide the two positions.

“The first time talking with Marie, there was just a connection,” Zierten said. “It was an ongoing conversation about the passion Marie had for the school and the mission of the school. It really resonated with me and my passion for how we should educate children.”

Zierten said she was impressed by Corrigan and the many benefits the school had to offer the students. The school has a comprehensive curriculum and a gym not only for the school’s use but also the community’s use.

The school’s main goal is to have small class sizes to focus on personalized learning for each student through multi-sensory learning. The school recently partnered with The Marist School under the Society of Mary. This partnership came about after the school received its reaccreditation and a board member suggested the partnership.

“Our goal is to unlock a student’s true potential,” Corrigan said. “The majority of our students are coming from classrooms a lot bigger than what we have here and a much different learning environment that is not as hands-on as ours.”

Zierten said her dad was a principal and she caught the teaching bug from him. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in leadership and supervision.

She worked in Apple Beta Site School in Chicago and said she liked to work with cutting edge innovation for education. When Zierten first moved to Georgia she worked with Gwinnett County Schools as both a teacher and technology expert.

She helped to start up Nesbit Elementary School in Tucker. There she helped with the Galaxy Classroom started by Hughes Aircraft to make education better through technology that included interactive distance learning. Most recently, Zierten served as a principal for High Meadows Elementary in Roswell.

Zierten has already met with several faculty, parents and students at a meet and greet the school hosted for her.
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