MacDonald leaving St. Mary School
Audrey MacDonald transferring to Holy Spirit School in Devon
Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 06:00 am
St. Mary School principal Audrey MacDonald will bid farewell to Westlock after 28 years with the school — virtually her entire career.
Beginning in September, she will call Holy Spirit School in Devon home, a move she said she has mixed feelings about.
“I have absolutely enjoyed my time here. It’s a wonderful school and I’m going to miss the family environment that I’ve been part of,” she said. “But I’m also very excited about a new opportunity and a new experience.”
The change comes as the result of a new school opening within the Evergreen Catholic school division. Many staff members are being moved around to ensure all schools have a good balance between experienced and less experienced staff.
“We have a new high school opening in Spruce Grove, and with the opening of the new high school almost all of the principals will be moving schools,” she said. “The move is exciting.”
Despite spending the majority of her career in Westlock, MacDonald said she is not at all worried about the move, since she knows she can be comfortable in any education environment.
“I’m not apprehensive at all,” she said. “You still put kids first in any school so it will still be about educating children and working with what I understand is a very good staff.”
MacDonald began her teaching career, with the exception of some substitute teaching, at St. Mary when she was fresh out of St. Francis University in Antigonish, N.S. Her area of pedagogical expertise is in high-school English, but she has also taught at the junior-high level.
She made the transition from the classroom to the main office 11 years ago, spending four years as assistant principal and seven as principal.
One of the best parts of her job is being able to see the positive effects St. Mary has on its students, and watching students as they grow up to be good people.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see them achieve success academically in their post-secondary studies, I’ve had the opportunity to see them go on to jobs and careers that they seem well suited to and I’ve had the opportunity to see them become good parents and good people,” she said.
What she will miss most about her time at the school is not anything she has achieved herself, but rather the family atmosphere at the school and within the community.
“We’re been very fortunate to have a supportive community and supportive families, and that is important to the success St. Mary achieves,” she said.
MacDonald said she can not pin down any one particular event that stands out above the rest, adding the day-to-day successes are as meaningful as the bigger-picture successes.
“I don’t know that I can define one moment that is going to stand out above them all,” she said. “Sometimes the small accomplishments are as meaningful as the big ‘A-ha’ moments.”