ANDERSON—St. Joseph School has a couple of big reasons to celebrate.
For one, this year brought the first class of sixth graders to campus and officially marked its growth into a middle school.
Also, Mary Ann Wheeler returned to the helm after a brief foray into retirement.
The principal, who announced her resignation at the end of the last school year, agreed to return to the leadership spot. She laughed and said retirement sounded good until she got there.
She said helping her mother and visiting her grandchildren did not keep her busy enough, and she missed having an active involvement in the school, especially during its transition into a middle school.
Wheeler said when she worked at a Montessori school in Anderson, she served on their middle school transition team and taught the upper grade subjects. The educator said she felt that experience would be beneficial.
“This is what God was calling me to do, so I said yes,” Wheeler explained. “I’m delighted to be back. It’s what I love.”
The principal said she will remain as long as the good Lord wants.
Another perk for the students and faculty were the renovations that took place over the summer. Wheeler said they redesigned the main lobby, expanded the teacher’s work area, and gave a facelift to all the classrooms.
A model of what the classrooms would look like was unveiled last January and included fresh paint, new student cubbies, teacher workstations, computer tables, and lighting.
Also, in addition to the sixth-grade class, they opened a space for a multi-purpose computer, art and Spanish classroom.
Now they are looking at their space and mapping out the best way to use it as they make plans for the school’s future seventh- and eighth-grades, Wheeler said.
Their other big project is the annual “It’s a Whole New World Gala” fundraiser which will be held Nov. 19.