October 17, 2018
School & Youth
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Beloved Teacher Retires From St. Martin’s-In-The-Field

Monica Resa
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June 8, 2018

Linda Cielewich has been at St. Martin’s-in-the-Field for 29 years. After 34 years of teaching, she is ready for retirement.

“Three decades carries with it an unsurpassed breadth of perspective and wisdom on early childhood education,” said Jamey Hein, head of school. “Linda has certainly earned unbridled admiration and accolades from generations of families throughout Severna Park and beyond as well as from her preschool colleagues for professionalism, grace and love of children.”

Those words are quite the praise for this deserving woman who began teaching after a department chair at Gulliver Academy in Florida recognized her potential.

“He said he saw something in me and that I was a natural-born teacher and would I consider going back to school,” shared Cielewich.

For several years, Cielewich worked as a teacher’s assistant full-time and went back to school at night to earn her certification in early childhood education.

Thirty-four years later, Cielewich is finally ready for retirement. “I have talked about retiring for the last five years and cannot seem to leave,” she admitted.

This year, she finally is ready, but it’s hard because she loves her job. A prekindergarten teacher at St. Martins-in-the-Field, she said a plethora of memories and moments have enriched her life but a few are extra special.

“I think the one that stands out is our annual Christmas tradition,” Cielewich revealed. “The head of school reads ‘The Christmas Story’ to the whole preschool, gathered in one room, and then all of a sudden Santa arrives! To see the faces of all our little ones with such surprise and wonder brings tears to my eyes.”

She’s also made it a point throughout her career to record the funniest things the children say during the day. Who knows? Maybe in retirement, a book will be written.

When it comes to her place of work, Cielewich expressed her love.

“St. Martin’s has been a wonderful place to call my second home for 29 years,” she said. “The faculty and staff have always been like family to me. Both in school and out, we are there for one another. We lift up and support each other. We are more than co-workers, we are friends. And I have made friends that will last a lifetime!”

It’s a bittersweet moment for Cielewich, leaving a piece of her heart with St. Martin’s. But the sweet part is that she and her husband plan to travel and she will have time to play full-time “Mom Mom” to her four grandchildren as she finally enters this next chapter in what, so far, has been a blessed and full life.

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