This week’s From the Heart is written by Lisa Tebbe ’80, Director of Marketing and Communications.
This morning I had the opportunity to accompany Seventh Class students to one of their Service Learning sites. For me, this wasn’t any Service Learning site but one that holds a special place. My mom has Alzheimer’s, and she is a memory care resident at The Boulevard, St. Charles.
My mom, Sharon Tebbe, was a respected, dedicated, tough, but loving, elementary teacher in St. Charles City School District for 33 years. She adored children, watching them grow in responsibility, encouraging their independence, and helping them succeed academically. She often supported them in their out-of-school activities and stayed in touch with them into their adulthood. Now, living with Alzheimer’s, she lights up whenever children are around. I know it taps into her innate love of teaching and being with young people.
Mom sent my brother, John, and me to the Academy in the early 70s. She was a single mom and was convinced this was the best school for her two kids. She was very proud that we are Academy graduates and believed it was the best decision she made for us. She could’ve never imagined the gift of Sacred Heart education she gave her own children would extend almost 50 years when Academy students returned that gift to her.
This morning, it was both humbling and a joy to see our students be present to and participate with the memory care residents. Our exceptional Service Learning program is a direct response to Goal 3: a social awareness which impels to action. For Middle School students to receive this kind of experience is life changing. I am grateful to Mrs. Strother, who expertly coordinates the program, the faculty who support it, the parents who commit to driving, and the sites who make this opportunity possible for our students. This component of Sacred Heart education is so critical in our world today. The compassion, patience, understanding and an eagerness to serve that students displayed are beautiful gifts to take out into the world and share with those who are vulnerable, lonely or anxious. Academy students will continue to grow in these gifts and impact individuals for years to come. And, through our students, I am impacted, too. My heart is full.
Lisa Tebbe ’80,
Director of Marketing and Communications