Catholic school students have long resisted uniforms and dress codes. Even this author spent 12 formative years reconciling her personal style with inflexible polyester, pleats, plaid, penny-loafers and Peter Pan collars. But it helps to remember that there is much more to Catholic education than just uniforms and dress codes. And while one person’s job might include enforcing policies around attire, there is much, much more to being an Associate Principal than eyeing hems and policing footwear.
Melissa Gismervik (or “Mrs. G”) comes to St. Thomas Aquinas High School with a wonderful background and an exceptionally pleasant personality. Originally from Monroe, Connecticut, Melissa and her husband, Brian (a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard and the Executive Officer of USCG Cutter Campbell), now reside in New Hampshire’s beautiful Seacoast. Together, they enjoy watching their 2 ½ year old son, Henry, marvel at all things aquatic- the ocean, the Aquarium, marine life. As every young child, Henry is full of curiosity and wonder; like every mother, Melissa loves experiencing “his joy as he takes in new experiences.”
With her strong background in Catholic education from The Catholic University of America, St. Joseph High School (Trumbull, CT), Viterbo University and St. Anselm College, Melissa understands well the mission of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. “I love being part of the ‘a-ha’ moments- the times when students realize something about their faith, themselves, their passions. It was such an honor to witness that growth and commitment,” she recalls. “The moments serving alongside my students are some of my best memories as an educator and as a campus minister.”
Alas, Mrs. G is more than just “The Dress Code Lady.” She serves as a dignified role model to our young men and women and exemplifies what it means to be a professional administrator in a Catholic high school. Like every faculty and staff member at STA, her purpose is to lead, guide, and prepare our young people not just for school- but for life. We are very grateful for her presence and for her desire to collaborate with our Saints.
Thank you to all the members of our St. Thomas Aquinas Family who have welcomed Melissa so warmly and made her feel at home. Hospitality is an act of generosity from the spirit, and a gift that is deeply appreciated.