St. Mark’s honors Assistant Head Lee, retiring after three decades

St. Mark’s honors Assistant Head Lee, retiring after three decades

After 32 years in service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School, Assistant Head of School Karen Lee retired last month. A celebration of her service was held on Dec. 15 at the school.

Lee taught grades three and six before becoming Assistant Head of School in 2003. She was 11 years old when her family moved to Jacksonville from South Carolina. Lee went to Mississippi College for a degree in elementary education and later attended Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida in graduate studies, and certifications in Early Childhood Education.

Gene Nichols, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said “A generation of St. Mark’s graduates owes a debt of gratitude to Karen Lee for her tireless pursuit of excellence in the classroom. Karen’s passion to continuously implement new and innovative methods of teaching has served our graduates extremely well. She never stopped challenging the students or the faculty. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we thank Karen for everything she has done to help fulfill the mission of St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School.”

Karen Lee is hugged by Ainsley Jessen while Emily Commander looks on. The third grade girls gave Lee gifts of handwritten notes of thanks from all the students.

Karen Lee is hugged by Ainsley Jessen while Emily Commander looks on. The third grade girls gave Lee gifts of handwritten notes of thanks from all the students.

Former Head of School Cathy Hardage commented that Lee has always been 100 percent loyal to St. Mark’s and the children who attended there. Hardage said, “She certainly deserves to be honored! She has given over 30 years of service to St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School. Her loyalty to St. Mark’s is unquestionable.”

Amy Morales, also a teacher when Lee taught, recalls Lee’s organizational skills. “She was meticulous in her organizational skills and could put a resource schedule together in nothing flat! One of our dearest friends and colleagues, Patty Gordon (now deceased) was her ‘partner in crime’ and I just loved watching them when organizing the resource schedule for the school…it was so much fun!”

In her farewell remarks, Lee noted “I am blessed daily to think that I have been part of this for so long. I cannot wait to see what is next for this school, for this community, for its children who will honor us with the future.”

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