Terry Lane retires from St. Joseph Elementary School


Friday 03 June 2022

By Laura Vallejo

Intermountain Catholic

OGDEN — Terry Lane, vice principal and director of literacy at Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary School, is retiring after 24 years of work for the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Lane’s career in Catholic education began in 1998, when she and her family arrived in Utah. Her husband was in the Air Force, and she had led religious education and youth ministry at several different Air Force bases.

Once at Hill Air For Base, friends from the chapel suggested Lane apply for a position at St. Joseph’s Elementary School. She did, and in the spring of 1998 was hired as a fourth-grade teacher.

After a few years teaching fourth grade, she moved on to middle school. “It has become my passion. I also had the good fortune of teaching first grade for two years,” Lane said. “It’s been the best thing to be able to do what you love for a career.”

Her years in the St. Joseph Catholic School system, which spans elementary through high school, taught her many lessons.

“It taught me how lucky we are to share a life with other people — learning to get through the bad times together and finding peace,” Lane said. “Knowing that God put us here to help, appreciate and love others has filled my heart over the years and brought me through tough times. I have had the honor of observing the students and other teachers and staff members and to learn through them, to see them grow in their lives and teach their children as fate would have it.

Humor is important, she added.

“A day should never pass without us finding humor and joy in one way or another. And in our time, we often had better laugh or we’ll cry,” she said.

One memory she cherishes is the school’s St. Nicholas night.

“Students from kindergarten through third grade come and we invite adults of all ages to read Advent and Christmas stories to them,” Lane said.

For the event, the school opens its doors to grandparents, priests and officials.

“The mayor came for a year. The teachers come to read. We make an Advent wreath with them to take home,” Lane said.

At the end of the event, people share a snack and “thank God for this gift from the community. It’s a great night for families and full of joy,” she said.

Another school tradition that Lane said she will always remember fondly is school families, which are made up of students from eighth grade through kindergarten.

“The older members of the group lead the younger ones in prayer, activity and a service project,” Lane said.

For example, school families frequently plant bulbs around the school, “and in the spring we all watch them bloom and rejoice that we brightened up our school grounds,” Lane said. “It’s the kind of service our students excel at and continue to practice throughout the year. My favorite part is watching the love shared between families.

Lane will be missed, said school principal Nancy Essary.

“One of the biggest things with her is laughter; she makes every room laugh and the kids love it,” Essary said, adding that “her love of reading and literature and helping students has been nothing short of phenomenal.

One of Essary’s grandchildren was a student of Lane, and Lane was “such a great asset to him,” Essary said.

Lane’s commitment to Catholic education is also something the school cherished, said Essary, who remembers the first day she met Lane.

“I will always remember how welcoming she was. … When I needed advice, she always kept me grounded and made sure I made the right decisions. She was always there for me she was such a wonderful support,” Essary said. “Her laugh will be truly missed. She will always be part of the St. Joseph family.”

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