By Laura Vallejo, Intermountain Catholic
HOLLADAY — After 20 years, Carol Sanderson, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School pre-K (4) teacher, is retiring.
Her journey in Catholic education started in 2002, when her oldest child, who now is 25 years old, began attending St. Vincent’s. Sanderson met the preschool teacher who asked her if she would like to help part time.
Sanderson, who had previously been involved in education in Virginia, didn’t hesitate. She started on a part-time basis, then moved to full time.
The St. Vincent school community has been a blessing, she said.
“Each one of these students and their families have a piece of my heart. It was always an honor to work with such wonderful people. They have changed me and helped make me who I am today,” Sanderson said.
One memory that she will always remember from her time at St. Vincent’s is that she was able to share her Catholic faith with the children, she said.
“I just loved to have been able to share my faith with the little ones. My faith means so much to me,” Sanderson said. “They are just so excited about God. They are so curious. … When we did resurrection eggs for Easter, they talked about Jesus, and it was just so incredible to see them sharing stories.”
Sanderson’s patience was lauded by many of her colleagues, but she offered more than that, they said.
“This community is grateful for the love and patience she has shown her students. St. Vincent’s is also thankful for her leadership on the School Board Faith Formation Committee and on the school’s Faith Formation Committee,” said Therese Clay, the school’s development director.
Likewise, Sarah Lambert, the school’s vice principal, said she admires Sanderson’s creativity, patience and love for the children. Lambert’s son was a student of Sanderson’s, and “I have always just been so thankful for her mission and for her loving our students, with her faith that she shares with her students so beautifully in teaching,” Lambert said. “She is just so incredible patient day in and day out with these little students. … One of my favorite lessons that she does is with pumpkins – she opens them up and makes the students touch the outside, the inside, and it’s so much fun to watch.”
Principal Gary Green agreed that “Mrs. Sanderson is one of the most patient and caring teachers there is. In my 15 years of knowing Carol, I have never seen her become frustrated. She is always calm and in control.”
Sanderson also is a highly faith-filled person who knows the best practices for pre-k students, Green said, and “all of these characteristics make for a powerful experience for the children and their parents.”
Erin Arico, St. Vincent’s office manager, said that the school is sad to see Sanderson go but at the same time they are happy for the new chapter in her life.
“I really, really think she needs to be home with her family,” Arico said. “I really think this was a good decision for her. The decision that she is making to stay home is great.”
Sanderson’s oldest child is having a baby in August and she plans to help care for the infant, she said.
“I am just going to jump into being a grandma,” Sanderson said.