St. Catherine School's principal has fulfilled her mission in Manchester
Catholic education doesn't insulate children from curiosity, and most third-graders are technologically adept at bypassing whatever online protections exist to keep them out of seedy Internet sites.
The nun issued a simple memo to parents - no more personal electronic devices at the kindergarten-Grade 6 school in the North End.
Such far-reaching decisiveness comes from a woman who retires after 42 years as principal.
A Mass and reception are planned for Sister Janet on May 31 at the church and school.
Sister Janet turns 80 next month. She said she agonized and prayed over whether to stay at the school, given her age and the pain that the stairs inflict on her knee.
"I love the kids, I love the parents. I love what I do," said Sister Janet, tearing up during a recent interview.Sister Janet grew up in south Manchester, the daughter of an insurance salesman. She attended local Catholic schools and took her final vows with the Sisters of Holy Cross in 1962. When she made her initial vows, her fellow sisters wore caps on their heads and a fan, a white plastic breastplate.She was a classroom teacher for 12 years before becoming principal at the now-closed St. George School on Pine Street.
"All the children have contact with Sister Janet. She's such a presence at the school," Tenn said.
And she's not one to bend a rule. For example, the dress code. Many Catholic schools are quick to give dress-down days, particularly if a student brings a dollar for charity, DiZillo said.
"The way she does it, it works. I don't blame her," DiZillo said.
She said 10 percent of her students come from broken families. It irks her that courts make rulings about custody without consulting her. "We have to pick up the pieces," she said.
"The kids in '72 were here because they wanted to learn, and the parents wanted them to learn," she said.
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