Student becomes Teacher; Alumni evaluate high school experiences and differences

Throughout the years, McNicholas, according to Mary Anne Christmann, graduate of 1956, has changed “everything” she said with emphasis. McNicholas has changed many things around campus including the buildings, the staff, and the classes, but the community has stayed the same. While changing, McNicholas has continued to impact the students’ lives with a positive vibe, which helps the students thrive socially and academically to the point where many want to return to work.

I had a great experience at McNick. Teachers really do care about our students. I felt very close to the school and have lasting friendships that I still carry on to this day. I don’t want to teach anywhere else,” Social Studies and PE teacher, and 1996 graduate Tim Monahan said.

Director of Technology, business teacher and 1998 graduate Andy Ey agreed.  “The biggest reason I came back [to work at McNick] instead of going to a different school was because of the experience I had [as a student].”

While the atmosphere and the kindness of the people in the school remain the same, many other parts of the school have changed drastically. The layout of the school has expanded and many areas have been renovated like the lobby, courtyard in front of the convent, Paradise, and café and student union. “I remember when Paradise was one baseball field you had to hike through a path in the woods, over a little bridge and up a hill to get to it,”  Spanish Teacher, Rockets for Life moderator, and 1991 graduate Tracey Canisalez explained.

Canisalez is not the only one to comment on how different the school has become. Theology teacher and 2004 graduate David Sandmann said, “The school has changed a lot since I was a student here.  Mostly everything is a lot nicer.  When I was a student there was no courtyard or main entryway with a nice lobby.  Both of those spaces were parking lots.”

The school will always be a major part in alumni lives. “In a way I have always felt like I belonged here,” Sandmann added.  Sandmann’s entire family attended McNicholas, so he already felt like he was a part of the school and the community which he loves, and he has watched the school grow over the years as well.

Science teacher and 2009 graduate Cathryn Lest also said she wanted to also come back because of her “love for the community,” similar to Sandmann’s experience. The alumni agreed that the changes through the years have been positive in many ways, and the impact has also changed them. Lest continued to express her love for the school by stating “I believe in this place, I always have.”

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McNicholas Alumni show their current high school senior pictures next to their current staff pictures. Shown are Tracey Canisalez, Mary Anne Christmann, Andy Ey, Cathryn Lest, Tim Monahan, and David Sandmann.

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