A Farewell Story Told by McNamara

Alexandra Vinci ’11
News and Online Editor

Eighteen months ago, Heather Gossart, President and CEO, found herself approaching the topic of her retirement. This past July, she contacted the Brothers of the Holy Cross to inform them that she would indeed be stepping down. On Sept. 30th, she was allowed to speak with the board and the following day she met with her faculty. All that was left was the student body. On that Thursday night, she sent out an email to the families and the following morning we all watched as she came on to WMAC with the news of her departure. Some were warned by the email while others were taken by complete surprise as they realized Mrs. Gossart has begun her year of “lasts.” Here is the reaction from all different sides of McNamara. It is the story told by just a few of the many people who love and respect Mrs. Gossart.

THE EMAIL

“When I first got the email, I read it over and over again because I didn’t believe it the first time I read it,” Andrea Dauz ’11.

“I was shocked,” Allison Bahnamen ’11.

“I was sad just because she’s so important to the school community. I don’t know what we’ll do without her,” Daniel Artin ’10.

“My Dad told me the news last night, and I didn’t believe him,” Carmela Rourke ’11.

“I wanted to know why she was leaving,” Emily Magruder ’13.

WHEN THE TEACHERS FOUND OUT

“When she anounced it, I immediately thought of the impact she’s had on me personally,” said Robert Nolte, Mathematics Department Chair.

“I’m torn because I don’t want her to go, but I’m excited for her because this is what she wants,” Mindi Imes de Duclos, Assistant Principal for Academics/Co-chair, Religious Education.

“She’s not going to be easily replaced, and even if the person who does has big shoes to fill, it’s going to be a shame to lose her, but bigger and better things I guess,” Geoffrey Molchan, History Teacher.

“I think she’s been such a great spokeswoman. Everywhere she goes, she’s all McNamara. She’s the biggest fan, cheerleader, head and shoulders she represents McNamara,” Linda Corley, Math Teacher. “We need someone with that… that…”

“Charisma and Zeal!” finished Angela Dielhman, Math teacher.

“Mrs. Gossart has always been synonymous with McNamara. When I found out she was resigning, I was sad to find out she wouldn’t be here, but I was glad to be able to reflect on the fond memories we have been able to share with her,” Justin McClain ’00, Spanish teacher.

“In many aspects I am very sad, but I think new leadership could be good because she has prepared us for it. So, I think we’re ready for a new direction and hopefully it will continue to be great and maybe even better,” Sandra Herndon, Assistant to the President.

“For a woman of her magnitude, her character, her strength, her compassion, a real zeal for the holy Cross mission, for her leadership, her example, we have been blessed to have benefited from her. Our lives have been changed for the better because of her being our President/ CEO. I love her so much,” Lasandra Hayes, English teacher.

MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS

“While Mrs. Gossart was talking on WMAC, in homeroom, I was tearing,” Michelle de La Paz ’12.

“I thought she was going to talk about Homecoming week or something,” Jonathon Middlebrooks ’11.

“It was kind of like one of those indescribable moments where you don’t know how everyone was going to react,” Soliel Grant ’10, Student Council President.

“Shock. Surprise. Oh my god,” responded a group of freshmen when asked how they felt as they watched.

“I was drawn to tears. This school isn’t going to be the same,” Shannon Anderson ’11.

“It was a real honor to be the crew and to be able to show her talking to school and talking to the students about her retiring,” Miguel Boluda ’10, WMAC Field Reporter.

“We were about to cry,” Vina Concepcion ’13 and Helen Bell ’13.

WHAT MRS. GOSSART WAS THINKING

“I was trying to figure out how to tell my students. Write a letter? Go on the Intercom? Then I thought ‘No’ that is not the relationship I have with the students. Mr. Clark asked me if I was going to be okay, and I wasn’t sure I was. I didn’t use a script, it came from the heart.”

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