Mrs. Judy Mohan, our new English teacher, and her husband Mike were introduced by a nun (Mike's sister). Judy and her future sister-in-law had worked together in a Christian Life Community, and the intro happened at the Viz Carnival one year.
It's a very St. Louis story, and it's not the only St. Louis-y part of her background — Mrs. Mohan was born and raised here, and went to Rosati-Kain for high school. After teaching for 24 years at Visitation, she returned to her alma mater as the school's principal, a position she held for six years before coming to work at Priory.
Mrs. Mohan started her career at Northwestern University, studying English and anthropology. "I loved Northwestern, but I decided to move home after we had 25 inches of snow one day during a year when we had 90 inches of snow in January alone," she says. "My coordinating teacher lost her car in the snow. I learned the lesson that way that you should never leave your gradebook in the car in the winter time!"
She later added two master's degrees from St. Louis University to her credentials, one in research and the other in educational leadership. One of her thesis topics was the use of humor in the works of Jane Austen and Barbara Pym. "I tell the boys that there was significant period of time after that when I couldn't even look at a Jane Austen novel," she laughs.
While she was working at Viz, the population of sisters declined and they began looking for theology teachers who were familiar with Salesian spirituality and Visitation's values and methods. They ended up hiring her husband Mike, a former Priory theology teacher. "'How's this going to work?' I thought. 'He's in my territory now!'," she joked. It all worked out, and they were together at Viz for about 8 years.
She left Viz for Rosati-Kain at a time of change for her alma mater. "They were transitioning to a president-principal model, and there was a need for leadership," she says of her time at Rosati-Kain. "It was an exciting time."
But coming to Priory brought her back to teaching from administration. "I'm thrilled to be back in the classroom," she says. "I'm thrilled to be able to teach literature, and to work with the students on their writing skills."
"It's been wonderful to be welcomed by the Benedictine community. The hospitality here is off-the-charts."
In her free time, Mrs. Mohan is a musician, a runner and a cyclist. She plays the flute at her parish, St. Stephen Protomartyr in the Holly Hills neighborhood of south city. She runs half-marathons, and she and Mike took up cycling to help fill their new-found time as empty nesters. Their daughter Katie is a senior at Missouri State University studying elementary education, and their son Andrew is a freshman at SLU studying pre-law. She also has a step son, Michael, who's going to be a dad in October, and she and Mike are looking forward to being grandparents to a little girl in just a few weeks.