Retiring teachers credit schools’ faith, community

Gratitude for Catholic schools’ community of faith and for their opportunity to contribute to it is a common sentiment for teachers in archdiocesan schools – including 25 recent retirees celebrated in this issue of the Catholic Voice.

"That’s a key thing," said Joyce Gubbels, who served 46 years at St. Pius X/St. Leo School in Omaha, including 35 as principal, before retiring last spring. "As I was retiring this year, people kept telling me about the community around the school. They felt I had a lot to do with that. I hope I did."

Paulette Rourke, who served 44 years at St. Cecilia School in Omaha, nine as principal, said the family-like community kept her going.

"And being there as long as I have, I’ve seen kids I taught come back with their kids," wanting to pass on what they received growing up, Rourke said.

Gubbels, of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, and Rourke, of St. Cecilia Parish, are the two longest-serving retirees this year, but several others are not far behind, including Carolyn Mulick at St. Thomas More and Janet Sauter at Holy Name schools in Omaha – both with 43 years of service.

"I loved everybody there," said Mulick, parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Omaha, who taught fourth grade and middle school social studies, and served a year at St. John School in Lincoln and a year at a public school in Omaha.

"Plus, I liked the ability to teach about God in all subjects. The morals of today need a boost in that area," she said.

Sauter taught third through sixth grades at Holy Name, including about 25 years in third grade. She went to St. Pius X School before it merged with St. Leo, and Marian High School in Omaha.

A member of St. Leo the Great Parish in Omaha, Sauter said she always believed in Catholic education. A lot of that has to do with the kind of community it builds, the ability to teach religion and the strong stake parents place in education, she said.

"They want their kids to have the best," Sauter said. "And as a teacher, I want to give that to them."

 For more retirees Click here.

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