By Bev Wieler - West Point News Reporter / Rita McGill smiles as she tells about her retired life and how she now spends her days playing bridge and spending more time with her grandchildren. She recently retired as the Guardian Angels School secretary, a title she held for 26 years.
Rita was the very first secretary at the school. She wasn’t out looking for a job, it just happened, she said.
She was an at-home mother for her six children and also helped her husband, the late Pat McGill, with his construction business. When the youngest of their six children started the fourth grade, Rita received a surprise request.
“Father Jerome Dickes, who was serving at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, asked me if I would help part-time as the school secretary,” Rita said. “I said ‘okay.’”
The part-time job eventually turned into full-time. During the next quarter of a century, Rita saw a number of changes at the school.
“I worked with five principals. Four of them were religious sisters,” she said.
The enrollment also changed. When she started, there were as many as 350 students attending Guardian Angels, grades K-8. That was in the days of larger families.
Rita also had the fun of seeing preschoolers enter Guardian Angels. That program began in August of 2002. The school’s enrollment grew with the added class, but Rita doesn’t remember many adjustments that had to be made for the four and five-year-olds.
“The preschoolers were just cute,” she said.
Rita has a lot of good memories of her time at the school.
“There were tons of funny stories,” she said. “I wish I would have started a journal."
For the full story, pick up the February 12 West Point News, or call 372-2461 to subscribe.