In March 1997, Sr. Thaddeus was featured in the Staff Profile column of the newsletter of Sacred Heart Academy, Mt. Pleasant. The content of that column appear below.
Anyone associated with Sacred Heart Academy over the past 23 years has appreciated the guidance of Emily Michaelina Kowalinski. Except you know her as Sister Thaddeus.
Emily grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Catholic Central High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College and her masters degree from the University of Michigan.
Believing God called her to be a woman religious, she accepted Dominican Sisterhood as a vocation and teaching as her profession. When she took her holy vows she assumed her only brother’s name–also the name of the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus–becoming Sr. Mary Thaddeus.
Sr. Thaddeus, who has dedicated a total of 23 years service to Sacred Heart Academy, was actually the Academy’s first elementary principal. “Back then we had 500 children grades two through eight, plus all the high school students in the one building that currently houses grades 7-12 only. We were crowded.” she said.
At that time, Sr. Thaddeus taught all subjects to seventh and eighth graders. She left the Academy for a few years, then returned to the high school in 1975 as a Latin and English teacher. She currently teaches Latin and Senior English.
Sr. Thaddeus says she truly loves working and living at SHA. “I enjoy working with and challenging the youth of America.” she said, adding that she takes pride in “seeing the light in students’ eyes when they have grasped what is being taught.”
Referring to Sacred Heart Academy as a real “faith family”, Sr. Thaddeus says the community spirit, and the caring people are what she enjoys most. The biggest changes she has seen are in technology and her fondest memories stem from specific classroom activities over the years.
“I like what I do,” Sr. Thaddeus says. “What I am and who I am comes through in all of my lessons. Hopefully, I am able to bring my relationship with God into my classes.”