Mary Kay McKenzie, CCVI, '58

As a student, Mary Kay was a member of the Marian Choristers and achieved academic success. After graduation, Mary Kay entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. One of the greatest accomplishments upon graduating from IWA was returning as math teacher. Respectfully known as "SMK" by her students, SMK pushed her students to achieve academic success in the classroom and made her students "do the work." Although it sounds very simple, it was a valuable life lesson that her students still appreciate and are grateful for today. In 1991, SMK left IWA to teach at the University of Missouri-St Louis. She taught there for 10 years and one of her favorite courses to teach was math for elementary teachers. After teaching at UMSL, Mary Kay landed her dream job with St. Louis Habitat for Humanity as part of the construction staff. Mary Kay was also part of the force behind Women’s Build and she now is the director of the East Side Heart and Home Ministry which is a small housing ministry in East St. Louis sponsored by the Dominican Sisters. Mary Kay is responsible for overseeing the construction of the house and educating the family in financial and home ownership responsibilities. Mary Kay has been a board member of the Incarnate Word Foundation for nine years. All the state banners that hang in IWA’s gym would not have been created without the help of SMK. She has enjoyed working with the different teams over the years, teaching them the amazing abilities "wonder-under" has to offer! One of IWA’s long-standing traditions has remained one of her IWA fondest memories to Mary Kay ~ Father- Daughter. It was then that Mr. McKenzie learned from his lovely daughter the fine art of doing the "jitterbug" from his lovely daughter. I guess one can say once a teacher, always a teacher! Mary Kay has made a difference in the lives of many and continues to serve God’s people with love, compassion and understanding.