Dr. Emily Yoakam - PrincipleFor Immediate Release 

Contact: Georgiana McGriff, director of Joplin Area Catholic Schools – 624-5003

JOPLIN, Mo. ­–  Joplin Area Catholic Schools is pleased to announce Dr. Emily Yoakam as the new principal of St. Peter’s Catholic Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School for the 2019-2020 school year.

Effective July 1, Yoakam takes over the position from Tracey Welch, who transitions to principal at St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School in Monett.

“Mrs. Welch has been a positive leader for both St. Peter’s and McAuley these past two years,” said Georgiana L. McGriff, director of JACS. “With her years of experience in education and her enthusiasm for student success, she will continue to be effective for the students and staff at St. Lawrence, and we wish her the very best!”

Yoakam most recently taught 6th grade ELA and Social Studies at Neosho Middle School. Prior to Neosho, she taught reading intervention and 3rd grade Math at Nevada Middle School and Truman Elementary.

“Educated in Catholic schools from K-12, Dr. Yoakam brings to St. Peter’s and McAuley her lifelong passion for her faith,” McGriff said.  “Her experience in education and strong faith are key factors that will help guide her in being an effective leader with our system.”

Yoakam received a Master of Science in Reading from Pittsburg State University, which complements her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She was a Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Golden Apple Teacher of the Year winner in 2016, a finalist in 2015 and 2016 and a nominee from 2011 through 2016.

JACS hosts a meet and greet for Dr. Yoakam on Wednesday, May 1 at 5 p.m. in the McAuley library, located at 930 S. Pearl, as well as for Debra Hamilton who is the system’s new school counselor.

About Joplin Area Catholic Schools

Founded in 1885 by Sister Catherine McAuley’s Sisters of Mercy the Joplin Area Catholic Schools serves the greater Joplin community to educate Catholic and Non-Catholic children from Preschool through grade 12. JACSS’ goal is to teach young people to integrate Christian values into all aspects of life.

The system endeavors to graduate young adults who are effective witnesses to the presence of Christ in the world. Visit www.JACSS.org for more information about the schools.