On January 22, beloved Middle School teacher, Susan Hayes, passed away after a short illness. She loved all of the notes and prayers from our Stuart community that were delivered to her in the days before her passing. She knew we were with her.
Susan joined the Middle School in 2016 as a humanities teacher with experience as a teacher and administrator. In her distinguished career, she taught middle and high school English, was a department chair, an English/social studies supervisor, and a director of curriculum and instruction for three different and highly-regarded New Jersey school districts.
Susan’s relationship with her students was her ministry; her impact in shaping the minds and identities of our young women extended far beyond teaching and stayed with students and families beyond their time in her classroom. She was a great educator, mentor and leader. She knew how to inspire, challenge, encourage, and guide us all. As one of her students shared in a post-it note on her classroom door today, “You made the gloomy boring days so much better. You lit up the room. You made me feel like I mattered. You helped me find an escape in reading.”
Notes and prayers like these continue to fill the baskets below Mater and the door to her “Reading Realm.” Susan brought great joy to everyone in her life, and there is no doubt that her passing has affected all of us. As adults with children in our care, it is often challenging for us to know how to act when we are all grieving for a loved one. We are blessed to have our counseling and support services team here who will continue to care for our students following the news of her passing, and they are here to support you too. There is no rulebook for navigating the death of a loved one; our counseling team has provided resources from CHOP and the Child Development Institute to guide conversations with your children.
Susan considered Stuart her family and wished to have her services held at Stuart. A funeral mass has been set for Monday, January 30 at 6 PM here in Cor Unum. All are welcome.