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Teacher Spotlight: Mary Anne Gleason

 

Meet middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher, 8th grade homeroom leader, and mom of 7 Bearcats Mary Anne Gleason.

What is your educational background?

I received a BA and MEd in School Counseling from Loyola University of Chicago. I returned to Dominican University to earn a Masters degree in Teaching.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at St. Luke?

I returned to the classroom to earn my teaching certification after I had my 7th child, Rosemary. Before that, I stayed home with my children and volunteered at St. Luke. I also enjoyed playing tennis and golf and reading.

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?

I decided to return to school when I was at my daughter Katie’s graduation from Boston College. I admired all of the older adults that were receiving degrees and decided that I wanted to return to school. I have always enjoyed children, so teaching seemed the natural choice for me.

Why do you believe in Catholic education?

I attended Catholic schools. All of our children have attended Catholic grade school, high school and colleges. We live in a challenging world. I draw on my faith for support and answers during these times. I love teaching in an environment that recognizes that we are all children of God. Because we are all members of God’s family, we respect everyone and everything that we have been given.

What do you like most about the St. Luke community?

I have been part of the St. Luke community for 30 years now. The people in this community are my family. We have watched our children grow up together. We have consoled each other and celebrated together. I think St. Luke is at its best during the most challenging times. Our community is amazing when another family is hurting. St. Luke is filled with compassionate, thoughtful and generous people. These same people also know how to celebrate together, like at our annual dinner dance.

What do you like most about teaching as a career?

I love teaching. I love to discuss books with my Reading classes; young people often have an entirely different perspective on a classic story. I love learning the rules of grammar and diagramming sentences. I love that I continue to learn. But what I love the most is seeing my students every day and keeping in touch with those who have graduated. I am fortunate enough to teach with very dedicated, well-educated and compassionate people who share my love for teaching.

Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at St. Luke?

The 8th graders always sponsor Lollipops for Love on Valentine’s Day. I also run the Spelling Bee. Recently, Mrs. Dabbelt and I started a Junior High Book Club.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?

I find that it pays to be flexible. If my students don’t learn about sentence structure today, hopefully they will by tomorrow or the end of the year. I love young people, and I have a good sense of humor. It always helps to smile.

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?

Every year in 6th grade, we re-enact the Candy Bomber. The students make parachutes out of old sheets, attach candy and drop these parcels out of the second story windows to the younger Bearcats waiting on the playground. It is a true re-enactment since the older students are as happy as the younger students catching the candy. It is always fun to bring a story to life!

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