Somehow, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher, so when I entered the College of St. Teresa in the fall of 1973, I had a focus but needed instruction in the art of teaching. I had the good fortune to be held to high academic standards during my CST tenure, by many good instructors, both lay and Franciscan. Sister Shirley Ann Schmitz was one of the best, without a doubt. Her classroom preparations were stellar, her methods were varied, her mix of high expectations and a wonderful sense of humor made her a true role model for those of us majoring in Elementary Education.
When I was ready to begin my student teaching phase in my senior year, I had a challenging trimester with the 4th-grade teacher to whom I had been assigned. Sister Shirley’s professionalism and advocacy for me, her student, and her supervision role, was outstanding. I learned so much more about handling difficult and unique situations under her watchful eye. I felt supported and yet challenged to persist. From that year forward, I often thought of her and tried to emulate her professional and caring demeanor. What a pleasure it has been to see her, now and then, at alumnae events and at Assisi Heights, to share my gratitude for her positive influence.
Karen Machlicha, CST Class of 1977