Young alumnae divulge memories, reasons why they returned to work at Marian

by ElizaTurco

Senioritis is spreading like wildfire through the Class of 2022. Weeks of AP U.S. Government notes are being saved for the night before the test. Ankle socks are shrinking into uniform-prohibited no-shows. As early action decisions roll in, seniors can’t wait to leave. 

So, what’s the deal with returning alums? Haven’t they had enough? Ms. Sydney Monahan, Class of 2017 and current digital media coordinator, weighed in on what drew her back to Marian. 

Ms. Sydney Monahan sits in her office in the Marian Advancement Office. Monahan started in her position this past summer.

Monahan graduated with a startling Field Day record of 4-2-1-1. She attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado with an English major and minors in communications and peace and justice studies. Fresh out of college and home for the summer, Monahan was quick to find opportunities.

“I actually started this summer as an intern for the marketing department. While I was working as an intern, the person who was in this position before me, Mary Catherine Ruesch, accepted a job at HDR as a designer. And so it was kind of known that she was planning on leaving and that this job would be opening. Once I expressed interest in this job, it was really nice because we had about a month for her to be able to train me for some of the stuff that she did. And so once I started learning her job and how she did things, it was a natural transition into this position after she left,” Monahan said.

Current math teacher, Miss Megan Han, Class of 2013, was not prone to senioritis. “[Returning] wasn’t something that I had thought about until like, way into my senior year of high school. I thought maybe someday, I would like to be a teacher and if I’m going to be a teacher, I want to do it at Marian,” Han said. 

Roadblocks towards making friends with everyone in the office, in the form of former teachers, must be addressed. Going from student to colleague is an at-first awkward experience. “There’s certain parts of it that are definitely weird. For example, I’ll never be able to call Mrs. K, Marsha. Different things like that. When we have all faculty staff meetings or retreats, it’s kind of weird to do icebreaker activities with your old teacher. But they’ve been super welcoming, and the familiarity of it all is so nice. I think being able to step into this job, and already have such a good concept of what Marian is and kind of how things work here was really helpful.” Monahan said.

Miss Megan Han competes at a cross country meet. Han was a devout member of the team and a current coach.

Still, it begs the question, what about this school is so magnetic? Nostalgia could be to blame. “I think my favorite thing was being on the cross country team. I loved it. I loved running and I loved the team. And it was something I looked forward to doing every year even though, you know, it’s a hard sport. We just had such a great team atmosphere. It was because of that I wanted to coach cross country. It was something I was super passionate about,” Han said. 

Monahan keeps tabs on her class, sharing updates of traditions, “One of my favorite things, when I was a high school student, was Marian Moms. I always Snapchat my friends, and they’re always jealous that I have access to Marian Mom’s or cookies or ice cream. It’s a very nostalgic feeling, but cool to be able to still actively participate.” Monahan said.

Now, as a teacher, Han stands on the other side of the glass for activities, “It’s really fun to watch. Students get to experience the things that I love so much about Marian. And it’s so fun to be a part of that part of their life journeys,” Han said.

Monahan has garnered a deeper appreciation for the work that goes behind Marian’s marketing. “I think by getting to see the background of what goes into that I have a way better understanding of the mechanics of things. I mean, even just things like how snow days are announced. That’s a completely complicated, multi-person involved decision that as students, you just want to know whether it’s a snow day or not. And obviously, you’re going to be upset if it’s not, but really, truly kind of having the adult perspective of it, it makes sense,” Monahan said. 

Years down the line, Han sees herself at Marian, continuing to build bonds with students and teachers. In the meantime, the halls are filled with deja vu moments. “There are these little moments where it’s like, oh my gosh, I remember what that felt like. Like the closet at the middle staircase where they keep all the Field Day supplies you open that and I’m just immediately transported back to high school,” Han said

It can not be denied. Once a Marian girl, always a Marian girl.

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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