In 2017, we say farewell to three wonderful DB teachers as they enter retirement. We caught up with each of them to hear more about their experiences as Cavaliers.
Larry Driscoll, English, Religion & Campus Ministry - 44 years
Mary Mann, Physical Education, Cavalier Experience & Athletics Coaching - over 30 years
Ann Kelly, Physical Science, Chemistry & Robotics Club - 12 years
What are some of your favorite memories of your time at DB?
LD: Some of my favorite memories center around the camaraderie among the faculty during our planning periods and outside of school. We used to have such fun and discussions about almost anything. I remember a time when Jim Leibrecht picked up a fellow faculty member and dumped him in the snow outside and how we would laugh until we cried sometimes. My favorite times were our rehearsals for the faculty shows. We would just get silly and still learn our lines and blocking but had a great time doing it.
MM: Teaching my sister Ann and my two children. I also loved coaching, especially an undefeated season in JV softball.
AK: Time spent in the labs with my classes. In Chemistry, it was all about making the real world connections, whether we were tie-dyeing t-shirts, or making lip balm, or ice cream. It was always so much fun watching my students reactions to the various labs that we did. Winning the Woodie Flowers Award as Coach of the Year at the FIRST Robotics Competition in 2015.
What will you miss most about working at DB?
LD: The sense of familiarity-- it’s been my only professional place of employment for 44 years. I will miss those people I’ve become close to, Sandy and Jim Leibrecht for sure, and my morning prayer group. I will miss the folks I’ve come to know and admire over the years. I will miss the pitch-in and help attitude we have around here especially when the time calls for it.
MM: My friends and the students. I will miss seeing the students mature from freshmen year to senior year. They come in wide-eyed and unsure, and leave with confidence.
AK: Spending time in the Physics lab with all of my classes. I would say Robotics, but I plan on remaining a member of the team in some capacity even in my retirement.
What are you most looking forward to in your retirement?
LD: I am looking forward to uncharted territory. I like the fact that I don’t have a solid plan of “have to do” things yet. That has never been something I’ve experienced before.
MM: My plans are to travel with family and friends and spend time with my mother and Steve's mom. I will also be helping at St. Agatha's Food Pantry. Hopefully a lot of time with my grandkids.
AK: Spending time with my mom and the rest of my family, especially my great-nieces and nephews. Traveling to Australia in 2019. And being able to volunteer for events and not having to write up lesson plans.
What advice would you give to new employees/teachers just starting out?
LD: My advice would be to jump in and volunteer early and often. It is how you get to know the place and people. Do not just stay put in your classroom or office. Learn the word “No” and use it every once in a while. Socialize with each other outside the school day. Don’t get lost in your electronic devices. Actually talk to one another. Do something that is not in your normal wheelhouse. Volunteer for a retreat and get to know kids and faculty in a different way.
MM: Have high expectations of your students because they try to achieve them. Responsibility and respect are important. Take time and listen to the students. Be tough and then ease up.
AK: Enjoy every moment of being in this wonderful place. Be a trailblazer. Be passionate about everything you do...you'll never regret it!
What is a message you’d like to leave for the students?
LD: For students: put down the phones and tablets and talk to one another. Stand up for each other and yourself. Allow God a place in your day and life.
MM: Work hard. Do your best and you will be successful. Make a difference today and every day. Be responsible of what you do and don't do. Always tell the truth - it's easier.
AK: You are a special gift to the world around you. Leave a piece of that special gift everywhere you go, no matter how far you are from home, or for whatever you reason you are in that place. God has chosen you to be there. He has a plan for you. Trust Him always. He'll never let you down. If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. It might not be the way you think it should be, but it's God's plan and you should trust Him on it. Likewise, it's God's time, not ours. Trust Him.
How has faith played a role in your personal journey at DB?
LD: It has been and continues to be a process that has sustained me and helped me through rough times and good times. Since I am ever changing, so is my sense of faith. It has been shown to me by faculty, students and the opportunities for development we offer here. I have come to know personally the power of prayer and how it can hold you up. When this community prays for you, it makes a difference.
MM: In my early years, it was secondary. It seemed like things were difficult. After Sister Barbara's influence, I realized that sharing my faith and seeing Christ in all children made teaching easier. Going to daily Mass before school everyday has a calming effect on me also.
AK: Without my faith, I would be nothing but a human being doing a mediocre job. With my faith, I am an incredible human being, who uses her God given gifts and talents to their best of her ability. And from the trail of accolades that I have been honored with over the course of my 40 year teaching career, I know that I have touched the lives of many, many people, not just past and present students and their families. I have been very blessed and have left a special part of me with all of those I have met!
If you could change one thing about your career at DB, what would it be?
LD: I would teach more Religion classes than I was able to.
MM: In the 90s, I wasn't as loving and understanding. I wish I could change that. I was angry and took it out on the students.
AK: I wouldn't change a thing. It's all part of God's plan.
What is your parting wish/dream for DB as a school? For DB’s future?
LD: That it may prosper and remember it is a good school and can continue to strive for greatness if God is at its center.
MM: Growth and prosperity. That the outsiders could find out what a good school DB is and what a great education you can get at DB.
AK: I hope that DB continues to grow for many years to come. May labs be the norm in a science class, because students get much more out of doing science than just reading about it. May God continue to bless those who are a part of the DB family beyond the years they spend within the walls of DB.
What is the greatest gift your career at DB has given you?
LD: A sense of humility and hope for our future.
MM: The friendships I have made with the DB staff and faculty and the many parents and students. My students gave me confidence in my teaching.
AK: An appreciation for my faith, and an increased awareness that God does, indeed, have a plan for us all. We just need to trust Him.