• Last modified 852 days ago (May 28, 2020)


Parochial school 'best of both worlds'

Natalie Steiner, principal, and Marcia Oden, eighth-grade teacher, join Austin, Stacie and Matt Marsden in celebrating Austin’s eighth-grade graduation from St. Mary’s School in Newton.

Staff writer

Stacie Marsden gets up early every day during the school year to make a 40-minute drive to St. Mary’s Catholic School, where she teaches.

While commuting to Newton may not be out of the ordinary, the mom of four has two sleepy boys as passengers, and the sacrifice of a long drive is worth it to a mom who wants to see her boys develop their faith as a part of their education.

“I don’t feel it’s a sacrifice,” Marsden said of the choice to take her sons, Austin and Declan, with her to the school where she teaches. “I feel that it is a privilege. A lot of people don’t have the opportunity.”

Marsden was drawn to the Roman Catholic faith at 18.

“It was the first decision I made as an adult,” she said.

Her oldest son, Austin, celebrated his eighth-grade graduation this month with as much style as social distancing would allow.

St. Mary’s principal Natalie Steiner and teacher Marcia Oden delivered his diploma to his house on Locust St. in Marion.

The milestone means he will attend Marion High School this fall. His brother Declan will continue go to school in Newton.

Austin has played summer sports in Marion and has been part of a Boy Scout troop in the area, she said.

The mix of friends in Newton and Marion has given him “two places to call home.”

“We love the school district here in Marion as well,” Stacie said. “When you have the opportunity to have faith in their education – you have the best of both worlds and we had to give it to them,” she said. “I am a true supporter I love this school district and town as well.”

She and her sons have made the best of their daily treks by using the time to read, study and talk.

“We have vital conversations that I might have missed out on otherwise,” she said.

Last modified May 28, 2020