Students cheer for teacher's 50 years

April 17, 2008 3:28:10 PM PDT
It was a very special day for an extraordinary teacher at a St. Matthew's Parish today.Mary Jane McCormick has given her life to the children of St. Matthew's Parish for 50 years and today, they said thank you in word and song.

It was a mass of thanks today at St. Matthew's Parish School on Cottman Avenue in the Northeast.

1,000 students, from grades kindergarten to eighth joined with teachers and staff to pay tribute to a woman who has given her all for 5 decades at the school.

Monsignor Charles McGroarty said a mass in her honor this morning in the school gym. Students listened respectfully as he described the sacrifice of this woman who gave a half century of service to education.

There were roses, balloons, and a small cluster of items showing her years of coaching sports, helping with musicals, and teaching every grade except kindergarten and fourth. But the best was when each grade sang an original song or spoke words of thanks.

With love, they remembered the countless ways she helped shape their young lives, and 2 generations before them. In fact, all of Miss McCormick's students together could fill Citizens Bank Park. It was almost too much for her to take.

"The tears are almost coming, but I'm trying to hold them back. I'm really touched," Miss McCormick said.