Responsibilities at Immaculate Conception Catholic School
I am beginning my 17
year as Principal and Eighth Grade Religion teacher at Immaculate Conception Catholic School.
I attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Gainesville, Texas, where I had the honor of being taught by the School Sisters of Notre Dame who greatly contributed to my love of our Catholic faith. I graduated from Lindsay High School in Lindsay, Texas, where I was valedictorian and co-captain of the basketball team that won the first girls’ district championship in the history of the school. Lindsay was where I began my excitement about writing. I wrote a weekly high school column for the local weekly newspaper. From there I attended North Texas State University, now UNT, in Denton, transferring to East Texas State University in Commerce, now Texas A&M at Commerce, where I received my undergraduate degree in English and Journalism with teaching certification.
I later graduated from the University of North Texas with a Masters of Education degree in Supervision with a specialization in Technology Education and certification in math. During this time I also received my Religion Certification from the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
Although I had some great experiences trying to earn money to fund my college education, such as the Sonic Drive-In and temporary summer jobs at such places as Acme Brick and Victor Equipment, I treasure my childhood experience of milking cows on our dairy farm from early elementary through college. My first “real” job was a life-transforming one. My husband, E. J., and I were married July 3, 1976. On August 5, 1976, we began our two-year service as United State Peace Corps Volunteers in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where E. J. taught upper level high school and college math while I taught upper level literature and English as a Second Language. We were honored to teach at St. Joseph’s Secondary School under the supervision of the Irish Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluney.
When we returned stateside, I took a position as high school Language Arts teacher at Sacred Heart High School in Muenster, Texas. We began our family a year later, so I decided to work part-time as a regional newspaper correspondent for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, North Texas Catholic Newspaper, Denton Record Chronicle, and a host of other local and regional newspapers, something that I continued for more than 15 years. I was an Associate Editor for a feature magazine called, “All Around Cooke County and the Red River Valley”. This gave me the opportunity to meet people in many walks of life and with rich stories to tell ranging from the original Orphan Train children to the people who constructed Ray Roberts Lake. During that same time I served as Director of Religious Education and Confirmation teacher for my parish of St. John’s in Valley View where we provided religious formation for children in kindergarten through senior in high school. I also served as Advisory Council Chair and girls’ basketball coach at St. Mary’s in Gainesville where our children attended elementary school.
When our youngest daughter entered kindergarten, I decided to return to teaching full time. I taught fourth grade at St. Mary’s in Gainesville before accepting the Technology Director position at Lindsay High School. During my time there, the country was going through a transformation into a technological world. At Lindsay we went from two dialup phones that were connected to the internet when I arrived to a full infrastructure support of district-wide internet and data services five years later. I also taught high school developmental algebra, computer applications, web design, programming, and journalism, where we produced the high school newspaper. I was also a dual-credit college instructor for North Central Texas College, teaching Computer Applications.
After five years at Lindsay, I accepted the position of Principal of Immaculate Conception Catholic School. When I arrived, the school was located in the old parish hall and a couple of portable buildings on Elm Street. Again, there were two dialup internet connections, one in the office and one in the library. We moved into the new building in 2002 and have continued a program of grace, growth, and excellence in support of our children who we hope will make a difference in God’s world.
Approach to Teaching
My vision of teaching and learning is that every child has unique gifts as a Child of God. It is our hope that the children entrusted into our care ultimately will
Love the Lord
Love to Learn
. My approach and vision as an administrator and teacher is a holistic one in which each student will develop his or her talents through differentiated forms of inquiry, facilitation, and instruction.
I have been married since 1976 to E. J. Schad, a carpenter, teacher, and the love of my life. Except for the two years we were in Africa, we’ve lived on our small farm in Valley View in Cooke County where we raise about 20 head of Angus cattle.
We have four children and four grandchildren. Ed, our oldest, is a graduate of the University of Dallas and received his masters degree from the Art Institute of Chicago. He is Associate Curator for the Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles. Emmy Torockov, our oldest daughter, is a graduate of the University of Dallas and received her masters degree from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. After teaching in the inner-city Catholic Schools of Memphis, she taught second grade at Christ the King in Dallas. She and her husband Alex have three children, Katie, Joe, and Nate, and live in Frisco. Tom, our third child, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He completed his Doctorate degree in Solar Physics this summer at the University of Arizona at Tucson. He is a telescope instrumentalist in Maui, Hawaii, is married to Molly, who teaches high school music in Maui. Their first child, Danny, was born in April 2016 in Maui. Angela, our youngest daughter and a 2003 graduate of ICCS, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and complete her fellowship at Winterthur in Wilmington, Delaware, and masters in Material Culture from the University of Delaware. She works in archives at Hagley Museum in Wilmington.
As one might imagine, E. J. and I spend every moment away from ICCS and the farm participating in family and community life as well as doing as much travelling as we can to see our children and grandchildren. We are members of St. Mary’s Parish in Gainesville where E. J. is a member of the ACTS team for Gainesville State School where he is also a volunteer math tutor. I LOVE college football (Go Irish!), most sports, am an avid swimmer, love to learn, and love life! I launch each morning with my Magnificat which continues to inspire me with the wisdom of the ages and a love of my faith. My favorite saint is Joan of Arc. It is truly an honor to be associated with such an amazing place as Immaculate Conception Catholic School.