Sr. Eileen O’Keeffe 1959
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Sr. Eileen O’Keeffe - 1959 - Special Education 

When she was a sophomore at IWA, Miss Eileen O’Keeffe was part of a brave group of students who asked then Principal Sr. Albeus Hartigan if their class could have a dance! Amazingly, the administration said, "YES.” And dance they did - that year and every year since. The class of ’59 initiated the wonderful IWA tradition of the Sophomore Dance which still continues today. After graduation from IWA, this multi-talented young woman entered the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.  After becoming a Sister, Eileen received her B.A. in Education from the University of the Incarnate Word and her MSSW in Social Work from the University of Texas, Austin. Thus began a career of more than thirty years in various aspects of social work and programming for young people with special needs in Dallas and El Paso, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri. Sr. Eileen worked for fourteen years in the St. Louis Archdiocesan Department of Special Education where she initiated a counseling program for teenage students and their parents.  

Sr. Eileen was a member of the first staff of St. Casimir’s Group Home for Girls, living with six young women with developmental disabilities. She also served as a child therapist at the Salvation Army Hope Center for Children and St. Engelbert FOCUS School, St. Louis, where she counseled elementary students, their parents and guardians and initiated an all-school counseling program to promote self-esteem, good decision making, and conflict resolution. 

Since 2005, Sr. Eileen has been serving as the Mission Integration Coordinator at Incarnate Word Academy where she strives daily to ensure that the Mission of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is living vibrantly in all aspects of IWA community life. 

Sr. Eileen’s personal and professional journeys coalesced as she lovingly cared for her beloved brother David and served as an advocate for persons with Downs’ Syndrome. She is proud that her sister Sheila graduated from IWA and that Sheila’s daughter Maggie, is currently an IWA junior.