Share this story

 | Disciple Profile: Kristina Luscher, Principal of Presentation High School

A Discipleship of Discovery in Catholic Education Kristina Luscher

Tell me a little about what attracted you to Catholic education and the role that faith played in your path.

Catholic education played a key role in my own educational journey. I graduated from St. Patrick's Elementary School, and Archbishops Mitty High School, and since then I felt called to work in Catholic high schools. After working in public high schools for five years, I felt called to work in Catholic schools where I could live out my faith daily. My faith has been deepened because my daily work is grounded in prayer. This year, I was introduced to James Martin's book, Learning to Pray, and I have been using that to experiment with different forms of prayer. In general, I find that the daily examen helps me reflect upon my day.

Looking back, what influenced your decision to walk this path? How does it continue to impact you personally and spiritually?

The Presentation Sisters and the Jesuits have been instrumental in my faith journey. Their dedication to service, solidarity with those in the margins, and humility inspire me. I strive to be a servant leader in all that I do. Working in a high school, I strive to serve the students and educators through collaboration and companionship. Some days, this might look like stacking chairs after an assembly or subbing a class for a teacher who is out. It might mean I help a student work through a situation or say yes to an idea they want to implement.

How would you describe your approach to leadership and education?

I love working in education because of the energy, joy, and creativity that young people bring to campus. As a leader, I believe in collaboration, risk-taking, and empathy. Schools should be spaces where students can discover and strengthen their gifts and talents. At Presentation, we want to give our students various opportunities to explore their passions. Some students might do this as a part of our Independent Science Research course, or others might direct a piece for our Snip-Its Student Showcase. 

When have you been the most challenged as an educator and administrator?

Navigating the COVID pandemic was the most challenging experience for me as an administrator. However, the experience taught me the importance of teamwork, trust, and community building. In the early days of COVID, when we were working to bring students back to campus, I collaborated with County Health officers, teachers, fellow administrators, and our facilities team to map out ways to make that happen. I appreciated the kindness and creativity that so many community members brought to those challenging days.

When have you been the most inspired as an educator and administrator?

I am regularly inspired by the students with whom I work. I have learned so much from the strength and determination of students who battle significant health challenges, challenging home situations, and personal setbacks. Years ago, I was blessed to get to know a sophomore who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I learned so much from them and their family’s faith and the kindness of his family.

How do you feel your faith has and continues to transform you as a disciple of Christ?

My faith enables me to remain energized and hopeful. It keeps my heart open to those I encounter and strengthens me during challenging times. If I had to choose one word to describe my journey, it would be discovery. For the past 24 years, As I worked in Catholic education, I have learned so much about myself and about my faith. There have been so many moments when I have seen God in action. Moments when the community comes together to support a colleague going through illness, moments when students alert us to fellow students who are struggling, and moments when my eyes fill with tears because of the amazing talent of our students.

Kristina and her husband have two daughters, who graduated from Presentation High School, and they enjoy heading outdoors with their dog, Daisy, and exploring state parks. Her current parish is St. Christopher in San Jose.