Captions: Jason and Alison Bauer and their children.
Ryan and Kristen Lemke and their children.
By Melissa Williams Brown
MURRYSVILLE — Alison Bauer believes she chose a service-oriented career doing God’s work because of the solid foundation she received as a student at Mother of Sorrows School.
Bauer, 37, credits MOSS for preparing her for all aspects of life, but particularly her educational endeavors that culminated three years ago when she completed a doctorate in nursing.
“The commitment to helping others through acts of service, civic engagement and sacramental awareness were ingrained in me from an early age. These qualities contributed to my personal and professional growth,” she said.
She is giving back to her alma mater, assisting as a school nurse a few days a week. She and her husband, Jason, parishioners of Mother of Sorrows Parish, have three children: Brynn, 9, a third-grader at MOSS; Clair, 5, a kindergartner; and Jack, 2, who will be in pre-kindergarten this year.
Bauer said she enjoys watching the students and school thrive.
“Being involved in the school in a professional role separate from parental involvement, I have been able to observe firsthand the pastoral commitment of our faculty, staff and volunteers who demonstrate true service and carry the responsibility of faith formation for our students,” she said. “The teachers are tremendously dedicated, enthusiastic and forward-thinking advocates for our children.”
Bauer said as she proudly walks through the school, she sees God at work and hears His words and actions through the students.
“I have faith that our continued investment in God’s children will bear fruit in deepening our Catholic faith,” she said.
Like Bauer, attorney Ryan Lemke said the education he received at MOSS shaped him as a person and deepened his Catholic faith. He credits his education for his professional and personal successes.
Lemke recalls needing an extra push with reading. The teachers made sure he received assistance but didn’t draw attention to it. Because of their attentiveness, he was way ahead of other classmates in advanced placement in the public school system. He said he was well prepared for upper grade levels, college and law school because of his MOSS education.
He also was taught to give back to his community and church. He is a board member of Hope Grows, a bereavement support nonprofit; coaches for several youth athletic organizations; and is vice president of the Murrysville Planning Commission.
Lemke said he and his wife Kristen, and their children Chase, 15, Addison, 13, and Chloe, 9, make going to Mass at Mother of Sorrows Parish a priority.
“Mother of Sorrows School also taught me how to be a good person, how to be disciplined and a religious perspective that helped shape me as a person,” he said. “The teachers really got to know you and taught us the importance of going to Mass.”
He still keeps in touch with classmates. Two of his closest friends were students at MOSS.
He recalls a few years ago he saw one of his teachers at a convenience store. Forty years had probably gone by since he was a student at MOSS.
“I told her that she probably didn’t remember me. She replied, ‘Of course, I do, Ryan.’”
Principal Theresa Szmed said alumni are an important part of the school’s history and future.
“MOSS alumni are shining examples and role models for today’s Catholic youth. Mother of Sorrows School welcomes all alumni to reach out and make a positive impact on our students,” she said.