Teaching the Teachers of Tomorrow

Being in a military family inevitably means moves. And for Cheryl (Stein) Reding, C’89, that meant moving away from Leavenworth after just one year at Saint Mary.

As with any change, comes a little discomfort—especially when leaving a place that feels like home. Leavenworth was where Cheryl’s best friends lived, where her adored teachers taught, and where she spent most of her childhood.

Little did she know though, a move to the Lone Star State would actually have her headed back to Kansas with the love of her life (a Texas native) and their two-year-old daughter in tow less than 10 years later. And this time, it was to stay!

Cheryl earned her degree in elementary education from Saint Mary, and the faculty she met along the way still rank as some of the very best teachers she’s ever known. 

“I certainly have an attachment to the Sisters,” explained Cheryl. “They taught me most of my life, and certainly in college. I fondly remember Sr. Helen Forge and the entire education department. Sr. Mary Erwin Baker—I always hated math, and I took Math Methods with her, and it was a revelation. She was just such a good math teacher.

Sr. Susan Chase over in science, and I can still remember having Sr. Marie Brinkman in the ’70s with her John Henry Cardinal Newman ‘Coming to Knowledge’ class. They all meant so much to me … and still do.”

Paying It Forward

Today, Cheryl’s name (though she’s too humble to admit it) ranks atop that very same list—one of the best!

For 13 years, she worked at Xavier Catholic School—teaching first grade, second grade, and then as principal. Following her long and successful tenure there, she worked as the director of graduate education programs at Benedictine College for 15 years. Through the years though, her fondness and affinity for Saint Mary and our mission never wavered.

“Saint Mary just feels like home.”

And, it feels more like home now with Cheryl back. Though her title is unit head of education and division chair of social and behavioral sciences, Cheryl is so much more than that. Cheryl is the epitome of what it means to be a Saint Marian—one using her God-given talent to truly shape tomorrow’s leaders in the classroom.

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