NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) — “I can see a need for the work that I do, and I think that is why I stay.”
Sister Rosemary Sieg, 85, is a staple in her hometown of Newton, Kansas. It’s where she grew up and where she has served as a teacher and nun for about four decades.
“She’s an inspiration. She is somebody that I think expounds or really exemplifies servant leadership,” said St. Mary Catholic School Principal Joshua Bargdill.
One can find Sister Rosemary any given morning in a small classroom tucked away in St. Mary Catholic School. It’s there she works with a few students on their dictation and reading skills, skills she learned at the same school as a child.
“I was baptized in our church here. My confirmation and the sacraments were all here. It’s just a privilege to come back and teach here,” said Sister Rosemary.
Sister Rosemary began teaching at St. Mary about 40 years ago, but her teaching career started long before that, 65 years to be exact.
In her 65 years as a teacher and 70 years as a nun, she has impacted hundreds of children in places such as Wichita, Wellington, Parsons, and even Grove, Texas.
“My favorite memory, I think, is like when I prepare the children for reading, and during mass, they can get up and read so well. I really did like that,” Sister Rosemary said. “I love children, and like I said, I love, I just feel like everybody can learn to read.”
“She is a beacon in our community, and she just brings so much joy, and you see it when she is working with the kids. That is her passion. That is what she loves, and you see her face light up when she is working with the kids, and you see the kids light up when they get to work with her,” Bargdill said.
When asked if Sister Rosemary has any plans to retire, she simply giggled and said she wasn’t sure.
However, she was sure of one thing; she prays her students to know how deeply she cares for them.
“I hope that they will remember that I really do love them,” Sister Rosemary said.