Sister Margaret handles study hall shenanigans with compassion

By J1 Reporter Ellie Fogarty

Sister Margaret Butcha isn’t just a Servant of Mary, she’s also a school paraprofessional, who supervises study halls. Sister Margaret has witnessed the stressful environments of a Marian classroom. Most days she’s surrounded by overwhelmed, sleep-deprived students, sometimes struggling to stay on task.

With the last five years as a study hall moderator, she’s witnessed “occasions where the young ladies aren’t showing respect to themselves and time.”

Students walk into study hall in Room 109 or in the Quad, with endless to-do lists, MLA essays that need to be written, math equations that need to be solved, and due dates that aren’t gonna change. The atmosphere can be chaotic, deriving from exhausted students who compromise sleep for school work.

Sister Margaret is familiar with the course load of a Marian girl. She’s heard the complaints, seen the tears, she’s even had to wake up sleeping students on occasions, “I just make sure they’re not sick, sometimes I invite them to rest and put their head down.”

As a Servant of Mary, Sister Margaret strives to share compassion. There are plenty of instances where she sees girls stressed about assignments or for other reasons. But she always takes into account what could be going on in that student’s life, “maybe she was up late or can’t focus.”

At some point, students have probably found themselves off-task in a study hall. Maybe online shopping, watching Netflix, or taking a nap like junior Phoebe Meier. It had just been one of those days, after three long classes and Crusader Activity Block, Block H study hall came around and Meier was asleep in her seat. “I was tired, but when Sister Margaret approached me, it made me feel loved and cared for, although I was okay,” Meier said.

What most students consider the best part of their school day, for sister Margaret it’s a time to inspire compassion. As a Servant Of Mary she brings a compassionate prescence to every Marian study hall and “puts [her] whole heart and soul wherever [she] is.”

Students share Valentines Day cards with Sister Margaret Butcha in 2021

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