Principal celebrates 50 years at Xavier Prep - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Principal celebrates 50 years at Xavier Prep

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Sister Joan Sister Joan
PHOENIX -

Call her Mother Hen, Head Honcho, The Lady in Charge -- Xavier College Prepatory Principal Sister Joan Fitzgerald marked 50 years at the school on Thursday.

Her favorite part?

"Working with the students, to see them come in as freshman and little girls and then walking out very confident, young women," she said.

Sister Joan has been at Xavier through five Popes and 10 U.S. Presidents.  She started as a Spanish teacher in 1962 with a mere 431 students.  Now more than a thousand girls attend the school and she's seen generation after generation of families.

"Now some of the grandchildren are coming through, so it's very interesting," she said.

When asked if she remember everyone's faces and names, she replied, "Yes."

Fitzgerald became a nun as a sophomore in college. At the time, they were all school teachers.  If you talk to parents and students, they say she is the backbone of the school and the reason behind much of its success.

"Sister Joan has always been such a driving force for the school and she's been a great support system," said Anne Straneva.

50 years and no plans to retire.  She says when you love what you do everyday, it doesn't feel like work.

The bishop held a mass for Sister Joan on Thursday.  The students held a pep assembly and parents held a reception.

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