Honestly, when I first applied to teach at Doane Stuart, I knew very little about the school. Recently graduated from college and eager to start my teaching career, I applied for the part-time position as a Middle School social studies teacher. At that time I was known as Ms. McGuire and started teaching in the classroom next to an Irishman named Seamus Hodgkinson. In 1986, we were married in the Kenwood chapel with many of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in attendance. Thus began our journey together as Mr. and Mrs. H, teachers and then administrators of the Middle School.
Over many years, we have taught so many young people, including our own children. Can you imagine having BOTH your parents as teachers during your eighth grade year?!!! Somehow, they survived– and we survived.
There have been roadblocks in our journey as a small school, but never ones that we could not triumph over. What has kept us here all these many years? The simple answer: pure love for this community. The more complex answer would be a lengthy book.
So, trying to summarize that book, here is my “why”. I guess my entire career has been teaching here at Doane Stuart because of the essence of what this school stands for. We have a mission that is lived daily by our community, and that mission allows us to teach both to the “head and heart.” I have seen insecure thirteen-year-olds become confident seniors, who then go on to pursue their passions and become valuable members of the greater community. When I hear from, or meet, Doane Stuart graduates, they often reminisce about how much Doane Stuart changed their lives. They share fond memories of traditions, teachers, and fellow classmates. Their memories remind me why I continue to teach. Their genuine gratitude for the education they received at Doane Stuart warms my heart and reaffirms why I do what I do each day.
I can say without hesitation that the journey of the Hs’ personal and professional lives have intertwined in a mystical way. For Mr. H, myself, and our children, Doane Stuart is indeed our home away from home.
Love, Mrs. H.