Dr. Ann Marr bids farewell to Sacred Heart

The+lower+school+held+a+tea+party+April+17+to+honor+Dr.+Ann+Marr%27s+12+years+as+Head+of+Lower+School.%0ACourtesy+of+Mrs.Kristen+Walmsley%2C+Second+Grade+Homeroom+Teacher

The lower school held a tea party April 17 to honor Dr. Ann Marr’s 12 years as Head of Lower School. Courtesy of Mrs.Kristen Walmsley, Second Grade Homeroom Teacher

After 12 years of contribution and dedication as Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Head of Lower School, Dr. Ann Marr will be sharing her talents with the world beyond the walls of Sacred Heart. While she has witnessed many changes to the school throughout her time here, she has been instrumental in shaping the school community through her commitment to the Sacred Heart mission.

Dr. Marr believes that the school has grown enormously since the beginning of her Sacred Heart career, in terms of both enrollment and renovations.

“We now have boys in preschool and pre-k and the campus itself has just blossomed,” Dr. Marr said. “It has really grown with the addition of Stuart Hall and the renovation of Barat house and the lower school hallways and the beautiful new classrooms.”
Not only has Dr. Marr witnessed structural changes to the school, but also she herself has helped foster a creative learning environment for lower school girls. Her background as a learning specialist has helped her to focus on the individual learner and the importance of challenging every child.

“I hope I have brought to Sacred Heart a real passion for the education of young girls which goes along with my true belief that they can and will change the world — and that by educating young women we transform families and societies and change the global outlook on how to effect meaningful change in the world,” Dr. Marr said.
Dr. Marr also introduced a new program to Sacred Heart students in grades four through twelve. Future Problem Solving Program of Connecticut, a program with which Dr. Marr had been involved for 19 years prior to her arrival at Sacred Heart, allows students to study issues within different topic areas, work together to evaluate solutions, and envision future implications of each topic.  This year, one of the topics students studied under Dr. Marr’s  guidance was land transportation. 
“I am excited about the potential challenge and enrichment this program provides to students,” Dr. Marr said. “I have also always been impressed by the twenty-first century skills which are embedded in the FPS process, i.e., creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, curiosity, strong writing skills, and thinking outside of the box.”
Throughout her time at Sacred Heart, Dr. Marr has enjoyed many Lower School traditions, especially the annual Jump Rope for Uganda.
“No tradition school wide better embodies our commitment and desire to reach out and help others,” Dr. Marr said. “And who more worthy of our support and love than our sisters in Uganda and Kenya? This tradition brings together an activity that is great fun with the importance of fitness and outreach.”
Another tradition Dr. Marr always looks forward to is when the second grade students give flowers to the graduating seniors.

The lower school held a tea party April 17 to honor Dr. Ann Marr's 12 years as Head of Lower School. Courtesy of Mrs.Kristen Walmsley, Second Grade Homeroom Teacher
The Lower School held a tea party April 17 to honor Dr. Ann Marr’s 12 years as Head of Lower School.
Courtesy of Mrs.Kristen Walmsley, Second Grade Homeroom teacher

“It is such a beautifully poignant expression of us as one community of people who care about and support one another. And on that particular day, a lower school class celebrates the wonderful accomplishments of the senior girls,” Dr. Marr said.
To commemorate Dr. Marr and her impact on the school community, the Lower School held a tea party April 17.
“I enjoyed the smiles on the faces of all the lower school boys and girls and how beautiful the occasion was. I loved every minute of it,” Dr. Marr said.
Dr. Marr will remember many things about her career at Sacred Heart, especially the unique community of children, families, and colleagues.
“I will also remember how very rewarding our work with young children is as we help them build foundations for a future in faith, learning, and social outreach,” Dr. Marr said.
This fall, Dr. Marr will no longer commute to King Street. Instead, she will be traveling to Haiti with a group of educators to work in local schools and aid teacher professional development. She looks forward to continuing to inspire others outside of the Sacred Heart community. 

“It is exciting to help the teachers to be the best they can be to help with the little ones there,” Dr. Marr said. “I will need to brush up on my French.”
– Emily Hirshorn, Co-Opinions Editor