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