Joplin Area Catholic Schools names alum as elementary school principal

JOPLIN, MO ­– Joplin Area Catholic Schools welcomes Mary Landreth as the new principal of St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary and Preschool for the 2023-2024 school year, effective July 1, 2023.

“Mrs. Landreth’s devout Catholic faith and her student-centered approach to education will be instrumental in maintaining the excellence of St. Mary’s Elementary and Preschool,” said Dr. Emily Yoakam, current principal of St. Peter’s and McAuley Catholic, and new Director of Schools. “We are confident that her leadership will positively impact the students, staff and families of the St. Mary’s community, and are excited to welcome her back to the Joplin Area Catholic Schools family.”

She is a legacy member of the Joplin Area Catholic Schools System attending St. Mary’s Elementary, St. Peter’s Middle and a graduate of McAuley Catholic High School.

“Mary’s educational foundation began at St. Mary’s, and it is great to welcome her back home to where her faith roots were first cultivated,” said Rev. Joe Weidenbenner, pastor at St. Mary Catholic Church. “We are delighted to have Mary bring her knowledge and leadership to our elementary school families and staff.”

She received both her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education, as well as a Master of Science in Administration from Missouri Southern State University. She began her teaching career in Webb City and received the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Outstanding Beginning Teacher award in 2017, her first year as a teacher. Currently, she is a member of the Webb City School District where she serves as a special education teacher, head volleyball and assistant basketball coach at Webb City Junior High.

“I am excited for this new journey serving the students, faculty, staff and families of St. Mary’s Elementary School,” said Landreth. “As a graduate of the Joplin Area Catholic Schools, I have been blessed with this opportunity to serve a community that I hold so dear.”

From 2016-2021 she served as camp director for the Diocese of Springfield Cape-Girardeau’s Camp ReNewAll. She is a member of St. Peter the Apostle Parish.

About Joplin Area Catholic Schools

Founded in 1885 by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Catherine McAuley, the Joplin Area Catholic Schools serves the greater Joplin community to educate Catholic and non-Catholic children from Early Learners (2-year-olds) through grade 12 at St. Mary’s Preschool and Elementary School, St. Peter’s Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School. Joplin Area Catholic Schools provide an outstanding academic and Christ-centered educational foundation that forms our present students of today into remarkable servant-leaders of tomorrow. For more information or to inquire about enrollment, visit www.JACSS.org.