St. John principal steps down after 34 years at school


June 06, 1999|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MARY WRIGHT, principal of St. John Christian Day School, is retiring this year after 34 years of service.

Wright began her career at St. John's in 1965 as the school's sixth-grade teacher. Before that, she taught at Brooklyn Park Elementary School and in the Baltimore public schools.

"I taught for two years in the city, then left to have a child," says Wright. "Then I taught at Brooklyn Park and left again to have a child. After that, St. John's called, and I've been there ever since."

She was made principal in 1974. When asked why her career at St. John's lasted so long, she points to the school's family environment. "We are one large family here. You get to know everyone by name and everyone is real caring. Former students come back to enroll their own children. When they call they always say, "You probably don't remember me," and I can tell them, "Oh, yes I do."

St. John's opened in 1957 with a kindergarten and added a class each year until the sixth grade. The staff was small in the early years, and everyone did a little bit of everything.

"We took turns cooking lunches and cleaning the school," Wright says. "Everyone joined in and worked together."

The school enrolls 160 pupils and has a staff of 25. The nondenominational school attracts students not only from the Brooklyn community but also from Brooklyn Park, Severna Park, Gibson Island and the Eastern Shore.

"Our day-care program is a big draw," Wright says. "We started it in the 1960s. Our summer day program will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m."

Wright plans to travel around the United States after she retires. "I live in Glen Burnie and have always stayed in this area," she says. "Our son just accepted a job at Yosemite National Park. I guess we will go and see what's happening outside this community."

Senior citizen activities

A full slate of activities are planned tomorrow at the Brooklyn Park Senior Nutrition Site.

The day will begin with card games at 9 a.m. Dottie Cadden will lead a country line dancing class from 9: 45 to 11: 15 a.m. At 11: 30 a.m., Program director Jill Bezek will teach seniors how to play Nutro Bingo, a game designed to help players make healthy food choices. Lunch will be served at noon, and a knitting class will begin at 12: 30 p.m.

The Brooklyn Park Senior Nutrition Site is at 5503A Ritchie Highway in Arundel Village Plaza.

Information: 410-222-6869.

Legion dinner-dance

America Legion Post 34 is sponsoring a dinner-dance from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 13 at 5526 Belle Grove Road. The menu will include a 12-ounce New York strip steak, baked potato, salad, beer and soda. Tickets are $10. Music will be provided by Scorpion DJs.

You need not be a member of the post to attend.

Information or tickets: 410-789-9682.

High school reunions

The classes of 1968 and 1969 of Brooklyn Park High School will hold a combined reunion Oct. 16.

Information: Tom Thompson, 410-859-1774.

The 1953 and 1954 classes of Southern High School have scheduled their 45th-46th year reunion at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Elks Lodge No. 2266, at Stevenson and Quarterfield roads in Glen Burnie. A social hour will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a hot buffet from 8 p.m. to midnight. An open bar will be available from 7 p.m. to 11: 30 p.m. Tickets, $27, must be paid for by July 15.

Information: 410-789-0833 or 410-636-1423.

Brooklyn bike safety

Children ages 4 to 14 will have an opportunity to learn about bike safety and win a bike helmet at 3: 30 p.m. Wednesday at the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Officers Carlos Feliciano and David Milburn of the Baltimore Police Department's bike unit will teach youngsters how to prevent theft, wear helmets correctly, use hand signals and make minor repairs.

Cycle Across Maryland has donated 12 bike helmets for the program. To be eligible to win, children must write a letter about "Why a Bike Helmet is Important." Children must be present to win. Bring your bike and Social Security number. Parents are welcome to attend.

The Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is at 300 E. Patapsco Ave.

Information: 410-396-1120.

`Field of Dreams'

The June movie sponsored by Harbor Hospital's Advantage Program is "Field of Dreams," starring Kevin Costner. The movie will be shown at 1 p.m. Friday at the Life Resource Center. Refreshments will be provided, and admission is free.

Registration: 410-354-9655.

Monthly bingo

St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church will hold its monthly Bingo Party tomorrow in the church hall.

Doors will open at 6: 15 p.m. Early bird games will begin at 7: 15 p.m. and regular games will begin at 7: 30 p.m.

Homemade refreshments will be served before the games begin and during intermission. The church is at 4708 Prudence St.

Information: 410-355-5740.

Pub Date: 6/06/99

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