Teacher Tuesday: LAC’s Mr. Thompson says goodbye to his school family.

May 26, 2020

Teacher Tuesday: LAC’s Mr. Thompson says goodbye to his school family.

Teacher Tuesday is a presentation of Metalworks, a small, family-run company with facilities located in Ludington and Manistee, manufacturing metal office filing systems. Be sure to show your support by liking the Metalworks Facebook page.

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

LUDINGTON – After 28 years in education and serving as the principal of Ludington Area Catholic for the last 21, Collin Thompson has grown much in his Catholic faith. Thompson is retiring at the end of this school year and what should normally be a very happy and joyous time, has become a bit more uncertain, thanks to the coronavirus and the switch to online learning in schools across the state.

“When I announced my retirement to the school community in February, I had no idea that the school year would end with distance learning,” he said. “This is bittersweet for me. I am disappointed that I don’t have the opportunity to see and talk in person with the students. During the school year, we gather every morning to start our day with prayer, announcements, discuss the virtue of the week, and celebrate birthdays and accomplishments of the students. I miss this. I miss the fact that we will not be able to gather in person as a school community to pray one more time together, but in the end, our students are healthy and safe and that is what is most important.”

Thompson graduated with his education degree from the University of Michigan, Flint in 1992. He taught in Flint for one year and then moved to Mason County.

“I moved to Ludington in 1993 and married my wife Suzanne,” he said. He taught at Manistee Catholic Central Schools for six years from 1993-1996. The first three years he taught seventh through 12th grade social studies, K-12 physical education, and was the librarian. ”During my fourth year at Manistee Catholic Central, I became the athletic director and continued teaching social studies. My last two years at Manistee Catholic Central, I was the principal for grades seventh through 12th and the athletic director.”

During the summer of 1996, Thompson’s oldest child was going to start kindergarten that fall and a visit to the local Catholic school ended up guiding Thompson and his family to a new faith family.

“In the spring of 1999, my wife and I were visiting kindergarten classrooms to determine where our oldest son would attend kindergarten in the fall,” he said. “We visited Ludington Area Catholic School and were impressed by the teachers, atmosphere, faith, and educational opportunities. While we were visiting the school, the principal told me that she was leaving at the end of the school year and that the school was currently accepting applications for the position. After much thought, prayer and discussion with my wife, I decided to apply for the position. I was offered the position and have been the principal at LAC for the last 21 years.”

Along with Thompson’s children, many other area children have or attend LAC. Along with their education, these children have also been given the opportunity to grow in their faith while attending school and Thompson stated that this has been one of the reasons he has enjoyed working with the staff, students and families at LAC.

“I enjoy working with students, faculty, staff, parents, and the numerous committees, organizations, and supporters of the school,” he said. “Faith development and the overall success of each student is at the heart of what we do and it is inspiring to work with so many people who care so deeply about our children. Ludington Area Catholic School helps to root its students in their faith, provides strong academics and a safe, family environment. Our faith is woven through everything we do and helps our students thrive as well-rounded Christians. All four of my children graduated from LAC, so I have had the privilege to see our students grow, mature, and become productive members of our society both as an administrator and as a parent.”

Thompson stated that he always knew he wanted to go into education. In 2016 he received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Concordia.

“I have always wanted to be in education. I enjoy being around kids, helping them learn and watching them grow in their faith, academics, morals and character. Kids are fun, they make you laugh, and you can learn a lot from them if you truly listen to what they are saying to you.”

Although retirement during the coronavirus can be very bittersweet, Thompson stated that he has worked with some great staff, families and children during his time at LAC and they will all be greatly missed.

“I have been blessed to be a part of LAC for the last 21 years,” he said. “Our school is like family and I want to thank everyone for the support that has been given to me. I plan to take some time to work on several home projects that I have been promising my wife but have not had the time to complete. I also want to spend some time with my four children. I enjoy working, helping others, and staying active so after I take some time for myself and my family, I would like to start a second career. There are many possibilities and I am open to whatever path God puts in front of me.”

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