School » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

To the Our Lady of Refuge School and Parish Community,


Just as I was to begin my ninth year teaching at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic School, I was presented with a very unexpected offer for the upcoming year. After prayer, reflection, and discussion with my family, I agreed to accept the offer as interim principal for the 2021-22 school year.   


I am aware that this comes as a surprise to all of you; it was to me, as well. Fortunately, I am blessed to have the support of my friends and colleagues at OLR; it was because of their dedication and professionalism that I decided to accept the position.  


First, a little about me. I am a local girl! My parents moved to California in the 1950’s and raised all nine of their children here in Long Beach; we were that “large Catholic family” on the block with “all those boys.” When I got married, I did not go far! My husband and I have raised our four children just a few miles from each of our own childhood homes. All four of our children attended local Catholic Schools, so I certainly know how valuable a Catholic education is.  I attended Cal State University Long Beach, graduating with a Liberal Studies Major, emphasis English/Creative Writing. I then attended Cal State University Los Angeles to complete my teacher credentialing process. 


I have over a 20-year teaching history with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I worked at St. Cornelius Catholic School for 16 years before moving to Our Lady of Refuge School in 2012. I have taught fourth grade, fifth grade, and preschool levels, but the middle school level has always been my favorite. A highlight of my long career is having the pleasure to work side-by-side with former students who are now my colleagues!  


During my career, I have had the opportunity to be a mentor teacher to several new teachers and also serve as assistant vice-principal. These experiences have allowed me to have professional growth in areas I may not have explored otherwise. 


I understand that a change so sudden and close to the start of the school year can cause some uneasiness. I want to assure all of you that I take your concerns seriously, and I am confident we will provide you with the leadership and guidance you have come to expect. I want to thank Mr. Green and Father Gerard for all of their support as we navigate this period. They have been instrumental in making the transition as smooth as possible.  


I look forward to a successful school year! 




Margaret Kennedy 

Our Lady of Refuge Principal