Dear St. John Fisher Families,
Thirty years ago Sister Michele, my predecessor here at school told me she was leaving St. John Fisher and asked if I would consider applying for the position. I was very familiar with the school since I grew up as a St. Cajetan Warrior (yes, even a cheerleader!) and knew the school had a great reputation. I was teased that while contemporary religious women were going to Tanzania and Peru, my missionary zeal carried me across 103rd Street!
I met with Monsignor McElligott, Father Purtell who had recently been named the new pastor, and the school board. The meeting would change my life.
Thirty years has seen so many changes. Twelve Commodore computers have been replaced by scores of computers, I Pads, and chrome books. Whiteboards and smart boards have replaced blackboards. Tuition payments once sent in small brown envelopes with string fasteners are now received electronically.
I have worked with three pastors, six Catholic Schools Superintendents, 3 Cardinals, and scores of amazing teachers. I have been privileged to work with wonderful families with whom I have shared peak moments such as welcoming new babies, First Communions, Confirmations and Graduations and even graduates weddings!
I have been thrilled to welcome second generation Falcons who return to the parish to raise their own children.
I have mourned the loss of many “special saints in heaven” Monsignor, colleagues, parents of students, and most profoundly the loss of children who died much too soon.
Thirty years is a lifetime, one filled with wonderful memories, amazing highlights, principal stories that unless you witnessed them, no one would believe.
I will be leaving SFJ at the end of this academic year. (I am having an awfully hard time even saying that out loud!) The broken femur has healed but continues to inhibit my mobility. The new demands of the job are not things I do well. The school is poised for great days ahead and you deserve a leader who can move it to new heights.
Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for the years I have spent as principal at St. John Fisher. You have trusted me, inspired me, and supported me on the good days and on the “not so good” days when I might have disappointed you because of a tough decision that had to be made. You are my extended family and I will always feel so richly blessed because of the faculties, staffs, families, and especially children with whom I have been so privileged to work for so many years.
Although I will not be waving at you from the office window, you will not be rid of me easily. I plan to remain at my perch on 105th street and continue to be an active parishioner in the greatest parish in the Archdiocese.
There are still months left to this school year with much to be accomplished. Know that I will do my best to be sure that each day is used well.