|Sr. Mary Georgene says goodbye to St. John’s|
|Wednesday, November 14, 2012 1:04 PM|
“I guess my official retirement was about six years ago,” Sister Georgene said. “But I’ve been coming in about once a week — any day they want me to — to help out Sue May and Patty Dickman, the two other fourth-grade teachers.”
When Sister Georgene started teaching 35 years ago, it took her a little while to find her niche.
“I actually started back in the 60s with first grade and did that for a year or two,” she said. “Then in the 70s, I taught second grade for a year or so. In the late 70s, I had the privilege of teaching the disastrous 7th grade. They were a handful. I could only handle that for one year. Then in 1984, I finally got it right, or that’s what I always tell people. That was when I started teaching fourth grade and I’ve stayed ever since.”
Even though she loves teaching, Sister Georgene feels it’s finally time to slow down and credits some recent health issues with helping her make the decision.
“I’ve been having some medical issues and I actually spent a couple days at Van Wert County Hospital back in August,” she said. “While I was there, I really thought about it. There are a lot of stairs here and it’s getting more and more difficult going up and down them. Medically, retiring makes sense.”
For her next move, Sister Georgene will head to Toledo, where she hopes to be of use to the Toledo Diocese and her order, the Sisters of Notre Dame.
“I don’t have anything planned yet but we’ll see what happens when I get up there,” she said. “Maybe there’s a mission up there around Toledo I can help out with. I’m sure the sisters I live with will steer me towards something. The main thing I’m planning on is to keep things simple.”
Sister Georgene said farewell to her fellow faculty members Monday at a going away/retirement party and shared some fond memories of her career at St. John’s. Even though she has a legion of moments to take with her, one in particular sticks out.
“I remember when they first built the All Saints Building, everybody was voting on what to name it,” she said. “I was with some kids one day and everyone was putting names out for it and I remember saying ‘There are so many buildings named after saints that all the saints are taken up now.’ Then I said ‘Oh, All Saints Day is coming up soon,’ and one kid jumped up and said ‘Thats it! All Saints!’ So they called it the All Saints Building. The kids came up with it, not me. It was just one of those things but it was really a highlight for me.”
With so many great memories and bonds formed over the years, Sister Georgene will miss St. John’s when she leaves.
“I’ll miss the teachers and the kids the most,” she said. “I’ll miss the people I’ve seen every day and the lady friends I go out to lunch with once in a while. I’ll miss them all.”