The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Continuing female leadership: Brittany Ecker’s role as interim principal

Ellie Hilsabeck
Brittany Ecker handles some principal responsibilities before her third period theology class. As teacher, Ecker has cultivated a peaceful and welcoming environment in her Fitzgerald  classroom. 

On Monday January 8, Brittany Ecker became interim principal of Xavier College Preparatory. While the community adjusts to the absence of Sister Joanie Nuckols, Ecker has taken on the role of principal while also continuing her involvement with the Xavierian (Yearbook), the theology department and spiritline team. 

Ecker began at Xavier during the 2022-2023 school year with her position as a sophomore theology teacher. Before coming to Xavier, she was at Seton Catholic High School in Chandler. Ecker first met the Xavier administration about four years ago while on the team of the Western Catholic Education Association Accreditation. 

Sister Joan Fitzgerald said, “She [Ecker] has shown herself as a teacher. She is very enthusiastic and working hard to fill this position.” Fitzgerald and Ecker work closely with one another as president and interim principal. Fitzgerald explained the principal oversees the 3 Cs: campus ministry, community and curriculum, while the president is in charge of the 3 Fs: faith, finance and facilities.

Fitzgerald added, “Her background in Catholic education, masters in theology and experience teaching in Catholic schools are what made her a good candidate for this position.” Ecker was hired by the Diocese of Phoenix shortly after Nuckols entered recovery in Iowa. 

Ecker continues to keep in contact with Nuckols and says the main reason for saying yes to this role was to support Nuckols, Fitzgerald and all the sisters. 

 “I really love the climate and the culture that they have built at this school and I want to work hard to preserve that,” Ecker said. 

Ecker will remain in this position through the end of the 2024 school year and throughout summer school. Depending on the health of Nuckols, Ecker said, “I will gladly support her if she were to come back, in any capacity that I can, or I would be happy to stay in this role until she can return.”

Fitzgerald says Ecker provides teachers with all the tools needed during this time. She says she can always find Ecker running around with a notebook wanting to write everything down. 

As a high school student, Ecker was involved in spiritline, student council, service clubs and she played on the varsity soccer team. She recalls hoping to be a high school Spanish teacher but the calling to accept administration roles came out of her “love for being in leadership positions and wanting to support teachers.” 

Although Ecker is not available for as many first-hour cheer practices as she would like, she often attends practices and weekend competitions to keep the spiritline team motivated. 

“Ms. Ecker has a really busy schedule, especially with this new role she took on, but she still makes time in her day to come and support us at cheer practice, giving us good corrections and telling us she is proud of us,” said Braylee Jevnick ‘26. 

She continues to teach third period in the theology department and remains active in campus ministry. Ecker describes the new responsibility as, “the greatest gift that I have ever received in my career. It is an honor and a totally humbling experience. I am grateful to everybody who is supporting me.”

“My favorite thing about Xavier is the people who are here. I have never encountered a community that is so warm, embracing, fun and hospitable,” said Ecker. 

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