June 25, 2020

Dear St. Isidore School Community,

It is with much affection and gratitude that I write today to bid you an emotional goodbye after having served as principal of St. Isidore School for the past eight years. Oh, what a journey it has been. 

I never anticipated that my final days at St. Isidore School would be done from a distance. I had truly hoped that we could spend some quality time together, sharing face-to-face goodbyes and well wishes. 

Over the past eighteen years, I have had the honor of meeting thousands of families who allowed me to be a part of their lives. It has been a gift to see so many students start and finish their academic journey at St. Isidore School. Together, we partnered in the hope of providing children with a strong academic foundation and spiritual compass that would carry them through their lives. I like to think we succeeded. When alumni return to share their success stories and life experiences, I feel a slight twitch of accomplishment, knowing that we helped lay the foundation.

As the principal, I had a front-row seat to watching your children grow, and it was wonderful. I’ve witnessed the pride a parent feels when their child accomplishes a goal, and I’ve seen the pain a parent feels when their child is struggling—all amazing examples of love that I take with me. Through the years, our community and our bond continued to strengthen, and we joined together over and over for the good of the school. Events, fundraisers, and community just kept getting better. Thank you again for your generosity, guidance, and love. 

I am filled with appreciation and gratitude for my many colleagues. Your continued support and trust allowed me to best serve our students and families. I will forever be in awe of your talents and love of teaching. I want to acknowledge and offer special thanks to Vice Principal Keane, who has been a fabulous partner and friend for the last five years. I leave knowing that we made a difference, moving the school forward in many ways. Together, we advanced curriculum, added specialties, updated facilities, and grew an already strong community. I will forever be proud of what we accomplished. 

It is hard to leave a school that I love in such uncertain times, but I have much confidence that St. Isidore School will continue to thrive under the leadership of Mrs. Carol Bender and Mr. Dennis Keane. The past few weeks have allowed us time for transition and planning. Whatever next year looks like, they will be ready.

Thank you to the many parents and staff members who have thought of me generously this last month, hoping to provide my family with a sweet send-off and soft landing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The gesture warms my heart!

St. Isidore School is a special place, one I chose to serve for eighteen years. One in which I chose to educate my own children. I leave knowing I have made fabulous lifelong friends and that those relationships will continue to flourish. I wish each one of you happiness and success. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers….Yay, St. Isidore!

God bless Y’all,

Maria Ward