Seton Catholic Central Vice Principal/Math teacher/Athletic Director Mary Forbes (left) receives flowers from some of her students for her 40 years of dedicated service to Catholic education in Plattsburgh. Before Seton, Forbes was Math teacher at St. John’s Academy.
Seton Catholic Central Vice Principal Mary Forbes was honored recently for her 40 years as an educator at Seton Catholic Central, and St. John’s Academy before that.
At a girls’ volleyball game this past week, Forbes thought nothing of the standing room only crowd which filed into the auditorium to capacity toward the end of the junior varsity game, or the presence of two reporters at that game. Forbes, who also serves as Seton’s Athletic Director and is a math teacher as well, was preparing to announce starting line-ups for the game when junior varsity coach Bernie Bullis coaxed the microphone from the suddenly suspicious educator.
Forbes was ushered to the center of the court, as Bullis read from a plaque prepared for her. While he did, a line of 40 people formed, each presenting her with a blue and green carnation, one for each year of service. While numerous cameras clicked away, current students, former students, and friends exchanged their flowers for a hug from Forbes, who maintained her customarily cool demeanor throughout the procession. Several of those in the line were second generation students of Forbes.
“The funny thing is, I taught about two thirds of these people,” said Forbes after she re-acquired her microphone.
“She’s the heart and soul of the school,” said Seton Principal Catherine Russell later. “She knows a couple generations of everybody. She’s one of those people who go through her life without much fanfare, but she’s greatly affecting the lives of the people she touches.
Russell credits Forbes as one of the people most responsible for Seton’s continued success over the last 25 years, as well as for her own success as principal at Seton.
Forbes taught math at St. John’s Academy in Plattsburgh for 15 years, before it was merged with Mount Assumption Institute to form Seton Catholic Central in 1989.
“The sense of appreciation we have; you don’t find people with that kind of dedication to stay at anything for 40 years, but especially in the education field. People just don’t stay that long,” said Russell.
Forbes has given no indication that she plans to wind down her career any time soon, much to the delight of Seton parents, students and administration as well.
When asked what the next 40 years would hold, Forbes just chuckled, but wouldn’t play her hand.