Born in Belleville IL, Mr. Michael Kish began his life-long walk with the Catholic Faith at Immaculate Conception Parish as a student – graduating in 1963. Mike pursued his calling at St. Henry Prep Seminary in Belleville IL where he graduated in 1967.
During 1968, Mike conscientiously followed his calling to the Church and enrolled at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at Lewis University in Lockport IL. During that year, God’s plan for Mike changed and he enrolled at SIU Edwardsville where he graduated in 1971 with a BS in History with a minor in Education and English. With a love of music as a backdrop, Mike began his teaching career where his journey with Catholic education began – ICS in Columbia.
The highlight of 1971, and of Mike’s last 39 years, was the marriage of Mr. Michael Kish and Ms. Jeanne Jablonski. This young couple became a family and together with daughters Amy, Andrea, and Kristi, this Kish family would become synonymous with Immaculate Conception parish and school. By 1975 Mike would become Principal of ICS, a role he has maintained ever since. Along the way, Mike did not sit idle. One could say that the Holy Spirit and the ICS community worked together to inspire Mike to fulfill his life’s mission. Mike completed his formal education with a MS in Educational Administration from SIU Edwardsville in 1980.
In the years that followed, Mike’s leadership generated much acclaim for the academic excellence at ICS which led to several distinguished awards such as the 1993 “Pioneering Partners Award” and the “Catholic Teacher Magazine’s 25 Most Innovative Catholic Schools” to name a few. Perhaps Mike’s greatest contributions to ICS have been done with a guitar in his hands. Whether leading songs at an All School Mass or proudly entertaining students at the annual Literacy Night, Mike continually reminds all families at ICS about the importance of Mission, Community, and Service. Because of Mike and the wonderful faculty that surround him, every student attending ICS graduates with a strong education, a balanced sense of self, and an awareness that Serving others is life’s most rewarding achievement.