Mary Sherriff, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School

2016 Tasmanian Catholic Education Commission Recognition Awards: Outstanding Service as an Employee within Catholic Education
Mary Sherriff

Mary Sherriff has been a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School at Devonport for 23 years.

She started on the staff doing relief work and gradually built up her hours until she was working full-time.

Mrs Sherriff, an assistant principal (teaching and learning in upper primary), has been recognised for her outstanding service as an employee within Catholic Education at the 2016 TCEC Recognition Awards.

Mrs Sherriff, 59, is a former student at Our Lady of Lourdes School, which celebrated 125 years in August.

She became involved with the Parents’ and Friends group about 27 years ago, even before her four children started at the school.

The award came as a surprise.

“It was a big surprise, but a lovely one,” she said.

“It is important to have a passion for teaching, to be student-centred and flexible.

“The students and the caring, supportive staff – at all levels – have been an amazing group of people to work with.”

Mrs Sherriff trained at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education in Launceston as a secondary school teacher and then began her career at Savage River.

Our Lady of Lourdes was founded by the Sisters of St Joseph.

“Quite a few of our staff went to school here and have come back as teachers,” Mrs Sherriff said.

As the school marked its 125th anniversary, Mrs Sherriff said that Our Lady of Lourdes continued to write new pages in its history book while keeping alive the charisms on which it was founded.