This year’s celebration included the tradition of honoring Woodlands Academy faculty and staff members who have reached noteworthy points in their service to Sacred Heart education along with a few who are retiring at the end of the current term.
“Our community is grateful to all who serve the mission of Sacred Heart education at Woodlands Academy,” Head of School Meg Steele said. “Today we express particular gratitude to those whose years of service have reached a milestone multiple of five years.”
For five years of service to Sacred Heart education at Woodlands Academy:
For 10 years of service to Sacred Heart education at Woodlands Academy:
For 15 years of service to Sacred Heart education at Woodlands Academy:
For 25 years of service to Sacred Heart education at Woodlands Academy:
Mary Ryan, who is retiring. Safia Karimi ’21 offered a fond tribute: “I cannot forget the day when you asked me some questions about life, and I was able to share it with you without any hesitation. Thank you for giving all your time and effort to support the young leaders at WA. Thank you for always supporting and encouraging us all. I wish you a very happy retirement filled with unconditional love, joy and happiness.”
Two other retirees, Tami Rocha and Kathy Fivelson, were honored by Natalie Williams ’21: “Thank you Mrs. Rocha for being instrumental in moving Woodlands forward by raising funds for academics, professional development, technology and the endowment. We truly appreciate your love for this school as an alumna and past parent, in addition to your continuous commitment over the last 12 years. And thank you Mrs. Fivelson for your endless help and planning for the many Winter Wonder Walks, Conges, and our first virtual Conge this past February. Your accomplishments and positive influence over these past six years have been exemplary and we will always remember what you’ve done for this school.”
And finally, a special tribute was paid to Meg Steele, who has served as Woodlands Academy’s head of school since 2015 and is leaving at the end of the current term to return to Sacred Heart Schools on Sheridan Road as head of schools there. Peyton Hopp ’21 has known Steele most of her life. “I met you back at Sacred Heart on Sheridan Road when I was a shy kindergartener and you were such a welcoming person,” Hopp reflected. “I also remember you always encouraged us to be the kindest people we could be, and you still do to this day. When I was in 7th grade and you announced you were going to Woodlands the next year to be the head of school, I was devastated, but little did I know that within two years I would be at Woodlands and joining you. Now, I know you will be a great head of school at Sacred Heart on Sheridan Road, and I wish you the best of luck on your new journey.”
The annual Feast of St. Madeline Sophie Barat is a tribute to the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart or RSCJs in France in 1800. This group of religious women would quickly grow and establish schools for children and young adults on six continents. Barat’s vision of education was founded on principles that would empower her students to use love and knowledge to transform society.