by Carly Mendiola '08
Staff Reporter and Design Editor
School Says Goodbye to Beloved Teacher and Administrator
Mrs. Marilyn Wockley, Director of Student Life and Vice Principal here at Bishop McNamara High School, knew she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was young and after 33 years of teaching she will retire. Having been an important figure in the Administration and someone who, according to English Department Chair Charles Shryock, "kind of does it all" for nearly twenty years, her departure will leave a large void in McNamara's community. "It's overwhelming to consider how to ever replace a Mrs. Wockley," says principal Marco Clark.
Mrs. Wockley arrived here at Bishop McNamara 25 years ago, following numerous other teaching jobs. She worked for eight years teaching Spanish and French at both high school and elementary schools in Baltimore County and Virginia. While working at a school in Virginia, however, Mrs. Wockley stumbled upon a wanted ad in The Washington Post. It was an ad for a position at Bishop McNamara High School.
Upon receiving a position at Bishop McNamara -- still an all boys school at the time and composed of only 300 students -- she began teaching French and Spanish, eventually becoming the Foreign Language Department Chair. However, after 14 years of teaching and the school's decision to go co-ed Mrs. Wockley applied for a change in position to take on the role as Dean of Women. She received the position of Dean and continued acting as such until she was later appointed to work in the Administration offices, fulfilling a number of duties that she said "flowed into place." Her job consists of tasks such as managing early dismissals, coordinating the students of the month program, editing the student handbook, writing the activities guide, dealing with all school clubs, appointing cafeteria duty to the teachers and even seemingly menial responsibilities like changing the letters on the board outside on the school's lawn. In her words, "I just try to be helpful. I do a lot of what it takes to make things work."
Following her retirement Mrs. Wockley would like to travel. She loves to take pictures and would enjoy nothing more than exercising her photography skills in places like Spain and France (although her desired travel destinations are certainly not limited to just those two). She plans to continue participating in McNamara programs and is even considering the possibility of acting as a substitute teacher as a way to maintain her connection with the school that has come to be so close to her heart. Mostly though, she just wants to spend more time with her family, making more frequent visits to Maine where her daughter and new grandson reside. She says that "after you've worked so long there's a lot to catch up on." And that's just what she plans to do post-retirement: to catch up on everything she's been missing out on.
"She brings a sort of professionalism to the position," says Mrs. Angelina Diehlmann, Mathematics Department Chair, of Mrs. Wockley. "She'll be missed." And apparently the sentiment is mutual as Mrs. Wockley says "I'll really miss the people. You tend to take the people you're around all the time for granted. I'll miss the people I've been around." But don't think the students are excluded. Mrs. Wockley says, "I cry at every graduation." This year, however, will be very different as it is not only a graduation for McNamara's seniors, but also a graduation for herself as she departs from Bishop McNamara, embarking on a new journey and a new phase of her life, hopefully one that is a bit more relaxing... and maybe includes a trip to Europe.
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