Thursday June 23, 2011
After Mrs. Mary Ellen Johnson, kindergarten teacher at Mater Christi School for 23 years, announced her plans to retire, the students and staff at the school got busy and organized a surprise gathering for this popular teacher.
The event began with a Mass celebrated by Msgr. Wendell Searles who has known Mrs. Johnson for many years through his own close connections with the school and as a former pastor of hers.
Following the Liturgy of the Eucharist, students in each grade came forward by turn, to express their gratitude to their former kindergarten teacher. This took many forms such as poems, acrostics, songs, cards, books, and much more. One creative gift came from Sr. Laura Della Santa, MCS principal for twelve of the years that Mrs. Johnson was at the school. This gift was a large bouquet of flowers arranged in a vase filled with colorful golf balls and tees. This gives a clue as to how Mrs. Johnson will spend some of her time as a retiree.
Mrs. Johnson’s retirement is also being celebrated by the adults in the MCS Community with a rocking chaired engraved with her name and years of service and a $500 leaf on the MCS Giving Tree in her honor.
Mrs. Johnson, a resident of South Burlington, will be missed for her ready smile, her generosity, and for the many creative and fun ways she found to engage her youngsters in the learning process. The news of her retirement plans was somewhat made easier when she announced that “you can’t get rid of me entirely since I have already put my name on the Substitute Teacher list!”
SOURCE: Mater Christi School