Assumption High School honors late math teacher

A plaque honors Maureen O’Connor, a longtime teacher Assumption High School in Davenport who died in 2007.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — A plaque honoring Maureen O’Connor, a longtime teacher who died of cancer in 2007, was unveiled June 4 during a teacher awards ceremony at Assumption High School.

 “She’s at home in a special way,” said Sister Marcia Costello, CHM, a friend and former co-worker of O’Connor. “She planted seeds and played a role in the lives of students, parents and grandparents at Assumption. She was an icon for the school,” Sr. Costello said.

O’Connor taught math at Assumption for 40 years. When she died in November 2007, her funeral was held in the school’s gym to accommodate students, family, friends and supporters.

“Maureen would do anything she could for students,” Sr. Costello said. “She is still giving to Assumption after her death.”

“I was a student and an employee during Miss O’s time at Assumption,” said Andy Craig, president of Assumption. “It was always evident how much she cared for the students at AHS.”

A memory that sticks out for Craig is when he returned to Assumption to serve as dean of students.  “I had not talked to or seen Miss O in probably 10 years, but when I did see her, she gave me a hug and said that she was so glad that I came back to AHS.  She then went on to tell me that I would do a great job as the dean. 

“It struck me because I knew she had health issues at the time, but all she wanted to do was talk about how great it was that I was back. It was really a special feeling and a great lesson for me. I know she gave that same special feeling to all of her students at Assumption.”

A way to honor O’Connor has been in the works for quite a while. Sr. Costello said she began working with Linda Duffy, former president of Assumption, and then with Craig, to establish a permanent plaque to be hung in the double room in A-wing – A4/A6 —  where Miss O taught classes. “This is where she shared with students her love of math and everything Assumption,” Sr. Costello said. After classes O’Connor tutored any student who needed help.

The plaque features a picture of O’Connor and comments on why she was important to the spirit of Assumption. “She simply loved being at Assumption 12 months out of every year,” Sr. Costello said.

O’Connor’s giving to students continues at Assumption through a scholarship that Sr. Costello helped establish in memory of O’Connor. Juniors at the school apply for the scholarship, which is applied toward tuition for senior year of high school. “It’s not a lot, but it helps,” Sr. Costello said.

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