Sister Vivian Boucher

(Published Oct. 24, 2008) Although she herself never attended Catholic schools (there wasn’t one where she grew up), S. Vivian has been in Catholic schools all her adult life. She recently retired after fifty-five years in education as a teacher and a principal. In the Salina diocese she taught in New Almelo, Concordia, Junction City, Plainville, Hanover and Beloit.

“I really believe in Catholic education,” she says. “Catholic Schools emphasize character, compassion, and values. It is important to be able to include God in daily life and not just on Sunday. We have prayer and religion class daily. The students are very much interested in religion. They want to learn about it.

“The atmosphere in a Catholic school is special. There is cooperation between parents and teachers. Among the faculty there is also a great spirit of cooperation. There is no competitiveness. Instead we all pull for each other. The students learn from watching us. They were willing to give up a can of pop to donate the money to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. They do several projects and are wiling to sacrifice for others.”

S. Vivian believes the greatest gift a teacher can give a student is a sense of self-confidence. “With self-confidence they have respect for themselves and strive to make good choices based on Catholic values. I tell the students that each one is a unique individual with his or her own gifts and talents. They may have talents others may not know about. The may not be good at math but they can play an instrument.”

She motivates her students by staying positive. “Negativity doesn’t belong in the classroom. I motivate kids by explaining how they are going to use the math concept we are working on. Some of it does not make sense to them now but I tell them how it will help them be successful in high school.“

Currently she is substitute teaching and doing volunteer work at St. Columbkille School in Papillion, NE. During the summers, S. Vivian returns to the Motherhouse in Concordia. She helps the older sisters and does a variety of tasks that need to be done. “The students are always interested in that,” she says. “ They have a respect for the elderly and are eager to hear what I did with our older sisters. These kids make teaching in Catholic schools pretty special.”