St. Luke Catholic School honors teacher upon retirement
Virginia Marenco, St. Luke School Honors English and Literature teacher, retired in June. Marenco began her second career in teaching in 2005 when she was hired to teach both English and Spanish at St. Luke’s. When asked about juggling both sets of classes, she said, “I loved it. I love language, period. When I taught both languages I had the benefit of having all the middle school students.” Eventually, Marenco began teaching a full class load of Honors English and Literature courses.
As an Honors teacher, Marenco no longer had the opportunity to teach all the middle school students. However, she definitely had the opportunity to make an impression on all them. Marenco was a standard at the annual St. Luke Religion/Bible Bowl, where she regularly played a variety of characters from the Bible. The students were always excited to see which character she would play.
In her Honors classes, she had high expectations. “I challenge my students and they challenge me. They don’t accept the basic answer. They want more. Sometimes, questions they pose spark conversations and controversies among them. I encourage that.” Drawing on her master’s degree in Leadership, Marenco encouraged her students to be leaders. “I tell the students they are the leaders of tomorrow.”
She indicated her favorite thing about teaching in a Catholic school was faith. “The Faith Formation of the students, you (teachers) are responsible for that. I was raised in a traditional Catholic environment. It’s like coming home.” While the middle school students have a specific religion class, spirituality is woven into every aspect of school life. Marenco used these various opportunities to inspire her students to live as faith-filled Catholics.
When the middle school students of St. Luke met Marenco in the school breezeway to wish her well in her retirement, several St. Luke alumni were there to do the same. The
students, faculty, and alumni sang her the blessing song, and expressed how touched they were by her presence.
For more information about St. Luke Catholic School, contact Dora Calderon at (210) 434-2011, ext. 126, or check out the website at www.stlukecatholic.org.