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MAREE Rosenthal loves nothing better than being in a classroom teaching.
It's something she's being doing for more than four decades.
What makes it even more amazing is the fact she's been teaching in the same school for the entire 40 years – at St Mary's College in Ipswich.
“Just being able to teach young ladies each year for the past 40 years has been a blessing," Maree said.
“It's a big milestone and one I thought I would never reach," she said.
Maree joined 21 devoted Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) employees at an annual lunch recently that recognises and celebrates those who have been with the organisation for 40 years or more.
She received a certificate from Brisbane Catholic Education Executive Director Pam Betts recognising her long service to Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane in front of her proud mother Muriel.
Maree said she had never experienced a dull moment in teaching.
She said her first role as a teacher was at St Mary's College, teaching religion, history, geography, business and economics and that's still where she teachers today.
“My first year out of teaching college I had a choice to make," Maree said.
“I had offers from two schools, but my first choice was the Mercy Sisters in Ipswich.
“I chose to go to St Mary's and I'm still there to this day," she said.
It was while Maree was a student at St Ursula's College at Dutton Park that her passion for Catholic education was developed.
“I really enjoyed my time there and the Ursuline Sisters were fantastic."
“They really inspired me."
When Maree arrived at St Mary's, in tow were her young children who she placed into St Mary's Primary school, next door to the College.
“My daughter then went into St Mary's College and my boys went to St Edmund's College across the road."
She said life for her at St Mary's was like being part of a great big family.
“You know they will support you no matter what."
She said she has seen so many staff come and go over the four decades, including 10 principals.
“There was plenty of mutual respect and they were all very supportive of me and vice versa."
Celebrating those who have dedicated 40 years or more Brisbane Catholic Education
Over the four decades Maree has taken on many roles within the College including in-college leadership, Head of Humanities, as Middle Leader and as Pastoral Coordinator for more than 30 years.
“I'm not really an administrator I just love to teach," Maree said.
“Economics is my main teaching area, and I was lucky enough to teach our current Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk."
In an amazing coincidence the Premier's father, Henry, taught Maree when she attended school.
Maree said she loved the Brisbane Catholic Education approach to educating the whole person.
“It's not only about learning the A, B, Cs and 1, 2, 3s, we give our students a sense of social justice and being of service to others.
“Instilling a love of life-long learning and a heart of hope into future generations."
She said it was lovely to be recognised by Brisbane Catholic Education.
“It's so great to be able to stop and celebrate with colleagues who have given their all to Catholic education over such a lengthy period."
In congratulating Maree and the other long serving awardees, BCE Executive Director Pam Betts said the significant contribution they had made to Catholic education did not go unnoticed.
Miss Betts said it was impossible to count the number of students' lives they had had an impact on over those years.
“How many lives would have changed because of the work you do in our schools?
“You are the quiet achievers."
Miss Betts said teaching was exciting, exhilarating and rewarding, but it was also hard at times.
“You have stayed the course for 40 years, thank you for doing that, because that says a lot about your commitment, your vocation to teaching and your great desire and hope that you hold for the young people who come into our schools every day."
She also thanked the family and friends of the awardees who had supported them behind the scenes over the 40 years.
Following the formalities, Maree and the other awardees and their guests shared some favourite memories of their time working in Brisbane Catholic Education.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101