Holy Child School at Rosemont
When Judy Cassidy entered as a first grader at Holy Child School at Rosemont (then School of the Holy Child) in 1951, it was unlikely that she would have imagined still being there in 2017. However, for the past 40 years, Judy has taught second grade at Holy Child, imparting the same values that she learned there as a student.
“I loved every single minute of my time [there] as a child. The philosophy and mission of this school is exactly the same as it was 65 years ago. Each child was thought of as an individual and treated with respect. It was the happiest place that I could be,” said Judy.
When Judy began teaching, Holy Child was run by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. She was the school’s second lay teacher and taught alongside the sisters who educated her. Judy’s love for teaching was nurtured during her education at Holy Child, especially by Mother Mary Constance. “She made me want to be a teacher,” said Judy. “She was just so, so kind in the way she did things.” Judy even remembers playing “teacher” as a young child and making a nun’s habit out of sheets. She would use her bicycle to pick up her “students” to take to school. Years ago, the sisters would arrive at students’ homes in their station wagons and drive them to school. Judy added, “My mother would see me [dressed like a nun] and say, ‘Put those rosaries down. That’s sacrilegious!” Judy added, “Yes, I did play teacher, but I took it to the next level!”
A lot has changed at Holy Child since the 50’s, including the campus and the size of the Holy Child School at Rosemont community. “The children are the same,” said Judy. “What’s really changed is the way that I can implement technology. It makes education so much more alive. It brings to life everything that you teach them.” Throughout her decades of teaching, Judy has held strongly to her educational philosophy. “My hope is really to be the advocate for each child that I teach. It’s the whole idea of trying to find the thing that’s going to make them want to learn.”
At the end of the day, however, Judy’s goal for her students is not tied to a curricular area or even to academics at all. “What I want to know most,” said Judy. “Is that I’ve helped them to be good people.”
It is estimated that Judy has taught over one-thousand second graders during her career. She was honored at the annual Holy Child Family Mass and Breakfast on March 5 at Rosemont College.