Sacred Heart Preschool is happy to announce that Mrs. Austin Nikolich has accepted the position of Director. As an early childhood educator and school administrator, Mrs. Nikolich brings more than 15 years of experience to her new role. Since August of 2016, Mrs. Nikolich has served as the Curriculum Specialist and Coordinator for Sacred Heart Preschool and an Adjunct Professor in the Early Childhood Education program within the education department and Ivy Tech Community College. Before that, she served as assistant director, classroom teacher, and developmental interventionist for the preschool.
Over the last several years Mrs. Nikolich has created and strengthened community partnerships, including the Children at Play Network (an outreach of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest), Community Coordinator Childcare and Thrive Forest School. Mrs. Nikolich has worked in conjunction with the Director to create pedagogical changes, moving to a play-based model of education and International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme authorization.
“I believe wholeheartedly in the quote, ‘Childhood is a journey, not a race.’ It is a privilege to be witness to this journey for the children at Sacred Heart Preschool,” says Mrs. Nikolich. “I believe our role as educators is to provoke thinking and wondering in our children and to step back to observe and document the learning that takes place as children play, narrate, wonder, and explore.”
As a member of the Sacred Heart Preschool administrative team, Nikolich has created numerous programming initiatives and overseen their implementation, supported the mission and vision of Sacred Heart Schools, and lived the Ursuline Core Values of Community, Reverence, Service, and Leadership daily.
“Ms. Nikolich’s International Baccalaureate PYP expertise, and dedication to developing students and educators, strengthening families as education partners, making Sacred Heart Preschool a model of best practice for the community, and elevating the field of early childhood education, make her the ideal candidate to take Sacred Heart Preschool into the future,” says Dr. Karen McNay, president of Sacred Heart Schools.
Nikolich will assume her new role as Director on July 1, 2021, following the retirement of Ms. Lisa Houghlin, the current director.