Meet the Principal – Mr. Gawlik

My name is Robert Gawlik and I am the principal of St. Rene Goupil School.  This is my first year in this wonderful learning and faith community but I have been an administrator for five years prior to making St. Rene my home.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Dominican University. I have been a part of the Archdiocese of Chicago since the first day I entered preschool in 1965. I began my career teaching sixth grade for seven years, fifth grade for one year and eighth grade for seventeen years. For these twenty-five years I was primarily a language arts teacher who loved sharing the value of words with my students. I then held the position of assistant principal for one year and principal for five years at Nativity B.V.M. and St. John Brebeuf School. I am very happy to be returning to the south side of the city for what I hope will be for many years to come!

My philosophy of education is, The child comes first. In order to meet the academic, social, and spiritual needs of the students, a positive school environment must exist. This is a joint effort that involves all stakeholders; teachers, administrators, students, parents, spiritual leaders, and local community members. Over the years, I have discovered that students perform best in a school environment that is both inviting and conducive to learning. In the short time that I have been at St. Rene, I have been very impressed with the wonderful relationship that exists between the students and their teachers. It is my goal to expand upon all of the things that make St. Rene such a great school in an attempt to welcome many more students in the years to come.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am also a huge fan of old movies and television shows. One section of my living room is devoted to displaying all of my VHS tapes and dvd’s. I try to enjoy them as much as possible. Thanks to my wonderful mother, I have also picked up many cooking skills and enjoy trying out new recipes. I basically grew up on Polish and Italian food, but my appetite has no limits. I live on the north side, so everyone assumes I’m a Cubs fan. In all honesty, I have always tried to support all of our Chicago teams. Hockey is my favorite sport.

In addition to my knowledge of education, I would like to share my strong Catholic faith at St. Rene. My parents raised my two brothers, my sister, and me to remain very close to the Church. The Catholic Church is the focal point in my life. Just like me, I hope the students of St. Rene experience the joy one receives by attending Mass and by becoming an active part of the Church community.