SPS Voice

Teacher Appreciation
Ryan Killeen

It is a challenge for us all to keep up with hectic pace of life in school these days. We have been very busy. Today we celebrated our beautiful May Crowning Liturgy, a timeless traditions that links our 136 years as we honor Mary, our Mother. Next week I hope to see you all as we celebrate the arts at our Spring Art and Music Showcase on Tuesday May 22nd beginning at 6:00 PM. Mrs. Dolan and Mrs. Hemmel are very busy preparing for the evening.

Last week, as we joined our nation in celebration of Teacher Appreciation week I reflected on the many incredible teachers I have known throughout my life. I am especially blessed to work every day with the most incredible faculty of dedicated teachers devoted to the ministry of Catholic education.

In April of 2015, Jane Magovern, a great woman, teacher, mother, and friend was called home to God after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Jane Magovern was an incredibly dedicated teacher at St. Rose Grammar School in Belmar, NJ for 40 years. Having met Jane in first grade, I was blessed to know Jane for 37 of those years.

Jane taught art with passion and ignited creativity in her students. As an artist myself I looked forward with great excitement to her class each week. Reading came slowly for me but I always knew I would find success in Mrs. Magovern’s classroom. Mrs. Magovern fostered confidence and enthusiasm in us all. I still recall being in 7th grade when Mrs. Magovern selected me to draw a life size rendering of the crucifixion for our school lobby. I felt like Da Vinci with my first papal commission as I carried my rolls of sketches back and forth on the school bus each day. Jane fostered in me a great love of art and inspiration for the kind of educator I aspired to become.

As I continued high school and college I kept in touch and visited with Mrs. Magovern often. After college I returned to my alma mater where both of Jane’s daughters were attending and one was in my class. As the years continued and Jane continued her vocation at our other parish school, I came to know her as a school parent, a colleague, a mentor, and a friend.

As my career brought me in new directions, I would still cross paths with Jane again and think of her often. Whenever you ran into Jane whether on her front porch, around town or on her beloved boardwalk, Jane always made you feel how genuinely excited she was to see you and how very present she was in that moment. Jane taught me that authentically understanding and celebrating your students is how growth and learning takes place.

Just like I saw in Jane, I see that same love of teaching and investment in the lives of children throughout our school community every single day. Make sure you let the special teachers in your life know how important they are.

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