June 20, 2013Graduation day at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School not only marked the end of another school year but of a career as well. Two, in fact, as principal Mary Miller and assistant principal Evelyn McShane have both retired from their respective positions.
Miller, an educator of 33 years, spent the last eight as principal at St. Paul.
“When I started at St. Paul, our graduating eighth graders were tiny primary school students in Sister Raymond and Mrs. Blair’s first grades,” Miller said in a newsletter to parents. “Now they’re moving on to high school, and I’m excited to be ‘graduating’ with them, and moving on to a new phase in my life.”
That new phase, Miller said, is a focus on being a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, niece and friend. She plans on splitting time between a new home in Lakeland, Fl., near her younger daughter and in Michigan near her older daughter.
“Thank you for all you have done for me over the years,” said Miller, who started in education as a junior high school teacher at Holy Innocents, then at St. Isaac Jogues, first as a teacher, then as technology coordinator.
She switched to administration 16 years ago. In that time she received the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Principal award in Boston in 2004 and, as a school, St. Paul earned the National Blue Ribbon in 2006.
Like Miller, McShane’s career as an educator extends 30-plus years. She taught at St. Barnabas School in Eastpointe for 17 years, before taking a job as a teacher at St. Paul in 1978. Most of her memories of the past 34 years, McShane said in the parent newsletter, are of a spiritual nature.
“I can see the thirst for learning expressed in those wide-eyed children,” McShane said. “I can feel the love freely given by hugs and handshakes. I can hear the laughter and music warming my heart. I can taste a glimpse of Heaven in the innocence of youth. I can touch the future knowing that the children I’ve taught are tomorrow’s fearless leaders.”
Replacing Miller and McShane as St. Paul’s new leaders are Kathleen White and Tina Forsythe, respectively.
White previously held the same position at St. Thecla in Clinton Township, while Forsythe taught fifth grade at St. Paul.