Fun Facts about Mrs. Staed:
- Her real first name isn’t Ann. It’s Marcia.
- She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelors of General Studies, in the first graduating class to earn that degree.
- Her first job was in the executive training program offered by Famous-Barr in St. Louis.
- She met her husband Mike on a blind date in St. Louis, when her friend arranged for him to pick her up for an engagement party. The friend’s fiancée was Mike’s ex-roommate. They married a year to the day after they met.
- She’s been at Priory since 2000, job-sharing for the first four years and then assuming the manager role full-time in 2004.
- She did the Go! St. Louis Marathon as a relay with her family; completing six miles for her leg.
For almost 15 years, Mrs. Ann Staed, Priory’s Campus Store and Sports Store Manager, has been largely responsible for keeping our students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff looking Priory Proud. But that streak ends tomorrow, Ann's last day running the store, after which she'll be retired.
"My husband and I both want to retire while we're still active and in good health," she says. Her husband Mike will follow her into retirement this spring. "We've started his countdown now too," she jokes.
Over time, Ann has learned her customer’s wishes, and has worked hard to provide the merchandise they want. “The parents tend to like apparel purchases. They love to stock up before Christmas, and we’ll see lots of new parents soon with the next class being accepted. We have great gifts for birthdays, and back to school is always fun. The boys? They like food! Any food, really, but they’re all about the snacks.”
Ann has also worked hard to promote Priory spirit. She started the annual Rebel Round-Up back-to-school party after the school moved to on-line textbook purchasing. “When we used to sell books ourselves, we’d have Book Night. The entire school came and the books for each class were set up in a classroom. It was a madhouse! 435 people coming all at once! We ran it pretty efficiently and we got it done, but the parents asked for an on-line book store. We did that, but I still wanted to have an event that created the sense of community for which Priory is so well-known. Book Night was a rite of passage; it was a kick-off to the new school year. We started Rebel Round-Up simply as a way to get students and their families on campus, and to welcome them back.” That first year, Ann had to plan an event with no prior history. She had no idea how many students would show up, or if their parents would come. She counted on new students attending, and was pleasantly surprised to see that students from all grades, seniors down to new 7th graders, came and brought their entire families. “It’s been really fun, and every year the weather has been perfect. The monks do a good job taking care of that!” she laughs.
Leaving Priory, Ann says it's the people here she'll miss the most. "Both the boys and my colleagues," she says. "There are so many great people here, with wonderful senses of humor. I get to work with 4 volunteers a day, many of whom volunteer for their whole six years, and I've made a lot of friends that way." She says she'll also miss the energy of the school, and the way every day is a little different. "I can plan out my day in the morning, but by the time the day is over I've sone something completely different," she says.
Off campus, Ann likes to spend time with her husband Mike of more than 35 years. Ann and Mike have three children: Sarah, 33, who is in the process of moving to Richmond, Va.; Matt, 31, who works for Lockheed while pursuing his M.B.A. and lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Becca; and Stephen, 29 and a Priory grad, works for Northern Trust in Chicago and is engaged to be married.
In retirement, Ann and Mike plan to spend about half the year at their 100-year-old home on a lake near Holland, Michigan. "I'll be spending a month up there in January to help get some work done," she says. They bought the house after vacationing in the area with family and friends for many years, and dreaming of owning a house there when they retired. They also plan to keep their house here, where they live on a golf course and both enjoy the game. "We'll have the best of both worlds!" she says. Growing up in Columbus Junction, Iowa, Ann was on her high school’s girls golf team. “I’m really not very good,” she said. “It was a small town and they were desperate for women!” Mike, however, is very passionate about the game. “He lives and breathes golf.”
They also plan to travel and visit their kids and their siblings, who live in 4 different states. They'll be adding a member to their family as well when 3 week old yellow lab puppy Lily is able to come home with them. She'll join 10-year-old Charlie the black lab/pit bull mix. "Charlie is the most gentle, smartest, best dog we’ve ever had. We're hoping he'll 'train' Lily with some of his good habits."