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Celebrating Kitty Gallagher's 27 Years of Service

June 07, 2017
By Amy Switlick

In celebration of 27 years of service,  we would like to reflect on what we all love about Mrs. Kitty Gallagher.  She is retiring this year but she will always be a part of SJA.  Mrs. Amy Switlick, her kindergarten teaching partner, reflects on her partnership and friendship with Kitty.....

I remember the first time I met Mrs. Gallagher like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t yesterday.  It was August of 2004.  I had just been hired at St. Joan of Arc to teach Kindergarten, and we were both at school to get our rooms ready for the school year.  Within minutes Mrs. Gallagher realized she knew my husband and told me she was heading to her lake cottage for the weekend.  This memory makes me chuckle now because over the years I have come to realize that Mrs. Gallagher has a connection with so many people in the Toledo area.  I don’t think she forgets a name or a face of anyone she meets, but I wonder if she realizes that very few forget her name or her face.  

If you have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Gallagher, you know what I am talking about.  She has a way of really connecting with people.  She wants to know your story because she truly cares about everyone she meets.  She will listen to every problem you have and offer her motherly advice even though she is not your mother.  When you are finished speaking with her, you feel better.  You know that everything will be okay because she is going to see you though it the whole way.

I have had the opportunity to teach alongside Mrs. Gallagher for the past thirteen years.  Her caring nature has naturally made her a wonderful teacher.  Each student she has come in contact with has felt her warm hugs and heard her kind words.  They earned a place in her heart by simply walking into her classroom on the first day of school.  She treated each of them with respect and love.  She has been such a wonderful example of God’s love for her students.  She often says she tries to do one kind deed a day.  I doubt she has ever missed a day.

Her philosophy of teaching has always been, “let’s make it fun”.  I have many stories of bags of glitter, her tossing the football around with the boys at recess, and many, many Dum Dum suckers.  She always wanted each day to be fun for her students.  

I am going to miss my partner, Mrs. Gallagher, so much.  I know that she will have wonderful, long weekends at her lake cottage and trips to warmer places when the lake is frozen, so I am so happy for her retirement.  I am going to try to remember all that she taught me by her example every day.  Will I ever forget her? Impossible. She will forever have a place in my heart. As I am sure she does, in all the hearts, of all her students.  

Mrs. Amy Switlick
 

Jan Hepler says:
June 07, 2017 10:19 AM CST
Kitty, The little lives you have touched are countless. One little life you touched I married off to a beautiful young woman last week. Christopher still has very fond memories of you in his kindergarten classroom at SJA. And last year, the difference your love, caring and support made in Aliyah's little life is indescribable. I cannot thank you enough. The footprint you have left on the Hepler family will stay with us forever. Aliyah will dearly miss your hugs and smiles in the hallways, playgrounds and lunchroom at SJA. How many teachers are able to touch multiple generations in such a loving, meaningful way? Congratulations! Relax, enjoy and don't be a stranger. We love you! Jan, Christopher and Aliyah.

Cathy Trimble says:
June 07, 2017 02:26 PM CST
Best Wishes on your retirement Kitty . Your love for each student is a ray of sunshine for them every day ☀️️

Jan Hepler says:
June 07, 2017 03:56 PM CST
Kitty, The little lives you have touched are countless. One little life you touched I married off to a beautiful young woman last week. Christopher still has very fond memories of you in his kindergarten classroom at SJA. And last year, the difference your love, caring and support made in Aliyah's little life is indescribable. I cannot thank you enough. The footprint you have left on the Hepler family will stay with us forever. Aliyah will dearly miss your hugs and smiles in the hallways, playgrounds and lunchroom at SJA. How many teachers are able to touch multiple generations in such a loving, meaningful way? Congratulations! Relax, enjoy and don't be a stranger. We love you! Jan, Christopher and Aliyah.

Marilyn Errington says:
June 07, 2017 06:12 PM CST
A special thanks to Mrs. Gallagher for her many years of dedicated service to the " little ones" of St Joan of Arc! Only if you have been a teacher or parent can you fully appreciate what she has done for others. Welcome to retirement. Congratulations on a job well done. Marilyn and Mike Errington

Courtney Van Koughnet says:
June 07, 2017 09:38 PM CST
Thank you Mom for all that you have taught me. I can only hope to be as amazing as you. I am going to miss working with you at SJA! You were such an amazing Teacher, role model, counselor, and mother to all of us at SJA. I am so glad my children, your grandchildren, had you as their teacher. Colin's most memorable moment was when you gave him a pizza hat to wear all day long and Victoria always loved it when you would dance in the classroom. You made learning fun, interesting, and loved every child unconditionally. We wish you the best and congratulate you on your retirement. You will be missed! Xoxox Coco

Becky Bennett says:
June 07, 2017 09:56 PM CST
St. Joan of Arc has been so blessed to have Mrs. Gallagher as a teacher. Even though my girls didn't have her as a kindergarten teacher, she still knew who they were; she knew who almost everyone was because she took the time to learn and care about everyone. Her classroom was as cheerful as the smile she always shared. Mrs. Gallagher you will truly be missed and you have left a beautiful legacy behind. Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it. I know there will be many hugs shared with your SJA family for years to come. God Bless You and your family.

Mary Miller says:
June 08, 2017 05:39 AM CST
What a beautiful write up for a wonderful woman!! Kitty, you have been an inspiration to everyone at St. Joan of Arc for your 27 years of dedication, support and loyalty as a wonderful teacher. I can't believe it's been 27 years and I was only there about 12 with you!! I know you will be sadly missed by the SJA family but now it's time for YOU!! Congratulations on your retirement my friend and a job well done!! God bless you and keep you safe! Love ya!! Mare xoxo