Today, we welcome into the October Spotlight the one and only Mary Kanneh (pertinent later in this article). Mary, with her full-of-life personality was a joy to interview for this piece. She has been at Stewart Home & School almost five years and serves as the full-time Houseparent on Hillside (ladies).
Mary loves her girls and when she thinks of what she loves so much about her building she thinks of Jackie and how she just wants to be with her—following her everywhere—even in Mary’s room to just pull up a chair for herself. Mary remarked that she knows her girls love her too. Saying “Even when I have to correct them they seem to understand it is out of love and they cry after me when I leave.” She continued by telling me about a statement Mary made to her one day— “Even when I’m bad, I need to be loved.” Mary said it had a profound effect on her—remarking, “I felt like God was talking to me, saying I love you even when you’re bad and these girls deserve the same.”
When asked what has changed the most since she came to work at Stewart Home & School, Mary quickly responds, “I have!” She explained, “When I first started, I had a hard time adjusting, but I learned a lot along the way and in a couple of years I felt I could handle most anything that happened on my building.”
When asked what has remained the same, Mary quickly responds, “the care of the students”.
Mary loves sewing, shopping and visiting with her family—especially five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She also helps out in our Recreation Department in her spare time, remarking that because she is not acting as a Houseparent there, it is all together different. She loves seeing and getting to know so many students.
Mary, we thank you today for all you do for our students, your love for them, the relationships you have built and for just being you.