Mount Alvernia Academy Fifth and Sixth Grade Religion Teacher Mrs. Geary heard about Mount Alvernia Academy for the first time from a former colleague, who told her that working at MAA made her feel like she had “died and gone to heaven.”
Mrs. Geary immediately recognized what her friend was talking about as she toured the school on her first visit. “Mount Alvernia Academy captured my heart the day I arrived for an interview,” she stated. “As I visited what would be my future classroom, I delighted in the fact that the middle school occupied space in the convent with a first-floor chapel,” she remembered. “At that time, seventeen Franciscan sisters lived on the second floor. It was a privilege to share their home with them.”
For her first 15 years at the school, Mrs. Geary was a Sixth Grade language arts teacher and cherished every moment of her time in that role. “There is a true sense of community here that you do not find elsewhere,” she stated. “The faculty and staff love and support one another. The children are eager to learn, and families are invested in providing the best education possible for their children.”
Mrs. Geary loved her MAA community, but following her mother’s death and after over two decades of teaching, she realized she was being called to spend more time with family. “In June 2016 it felt right to step aside from full-time teaching and spend more time enjoying family, friends, and interests I had put off during the busy school season.” Although she had taken a slight step back, she continued to help at the school, assisting with the ISEE Essay writing program she had helped found and serving as a substitute teacher.
But a true vocation has a way of pulling one back in. “Last spring, missing the community I loved dearly, I felt an inner calling to return to MAA,” she said. As divine providence would have it, a part-time religion position became available and she seized the opportunity to teach a subject close to her heart.
As MAA’s religion teacher, she helps carry on the Franciscan, Catholic spirit the nuns down the hall from her old classroom introduced her to almost two decades ago. “Many elements come to mind when I think of the Franciscan, Catholic traditions: peace and goodness, cultivating a love of God, and fostering reverence and dignity for all God’s creatures,” she said. “Jesus, St. Francis, and St. Clare are our role models. Not only do we aspire to ‘make the world a better place,’ but we also aspire to become better individuals in the process.” We give a prayer of thanks every day that Mrs. Geary is back and part of our community!