After years of experience, teachers reflect on their teaching past, present and future

Cathedral family is familiar for all.


Evan Schoettle

Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford teaches a Precalculus class on day 2 on Jan. 6. She said, “I love teaching the kids of kids I taught. Part of it is because the kids I taught stay kids in my memory forever.”

Sarar Kress, Reporter

For those who come here every day, either to work or learn, the idea of the Cathedral family is familiar. This perception of the school has perpetuated throughout the many generations of students.

English teacher Mrs. Melinda Bundy has taught here for 43 years. She was one of four original female teachers the school hired. It was anticipated that entering a male-only environment would bring conflict, but some challenges were not initially considered.

“They had to come up with a bathroom for us,” Bundy said. “It wasn’t just all boys, it was all men. I mean it was just a sea of testosterone, and it was challenging because the school was going through a big transition.” At the time, the school was struggling to stay open after the Holy Cross brothers left. Bundy described the whole situation as “chaotic.”

In over four decades here, Bundy’s most memorable moment “was downtown when I was trying to break up a fight. The boys were concerned; they were trying to get me to leave because they were afraid I’d get hurt. That told me that they had accepted me.”

Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford was not able to think of one most memorable moment. “This sounds really corny, but every day something happens that makes me happy I’m a teacher,” she said.

Ford is in her 36th year of teaching, and both she and Bundy have taught multiple generations of students here. “I love teaching the kids of kids I taught,” Ford said. “Part of it is because the kids I taught stay kids in my memory forever. I mean, they haven’t grown up; they’re still kids.”

Bundy said, “What’s really funny is what (current students’) parents have told them about me.”

Ford said she enjoys viewing students in the context of their parents. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘oh my gosh, she’s her dad all over again’ and then sometimes it’s like, ‘oh my gosh, they’re so different,’” she said.

As Bundy and Ford watched their students graduate and have children, they also witnessed changes. Bundy said, “From a teaching standpoint, there are more meetings, more obligations that are outside the classroom, more paperwork, more red tape, schedule changing, adding technology and the parents being more demanding because they’re paying so much money.”

Ford also noted the increased parental activity. “I think parents are a lot more involved now than they were back in the day,” she said.

However, even though time has altered Cathedral, the foundations of the school are intact. Ford said, “Fundamentally the spirit of the school, the faith of the school, and most importantly, the students of the school are still the same.”

“The whole idea of (Cathedral) being a family has not changed,” Bundy said. This concept of community is central to the Cathedral experience. Bundy displayed the family aspect of Cathedral when she said, “Even with all the changes, it’s a wonderful place to work because I love my kids. The kids have not changed, and we are very fortunate at Cathedral to get wonderful kids.”

Ford experienced the Cathedral family first-hand. “The whole second semester last year was a very traumatic time for me and I had — oh God, I cry every time I think about it,” Ford said. “My students last year, and my colleagues last year, that’s what family’s about. When people talk about the Cathedral family, I lived it last year and I will be eternally grateful for the love and support that I was given during a very tough time.”

Ford shares similar feelings with Bundy about the students. “The reason I’m here after 36 years is that we do have the greatest kids in the world,” she said.

Ford continues to appreciate both her former and current students. She said “One of the best parts about Cathedral is the tradition and the connections, and it makes me so proud when someone who graduated from here invests his own children here.”