When the new school year began at the end of August, Sister Mary Ellen Dean was getting ready for her 50th year of service to Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Youngstown. Most of those years – 44, including this year – have been spent at Ursuline High School. Sister Mary Ellen has also taught at St. Nicholas in Struthers, Holy Family in Poland, St. Patrick and St. Charles in Youngstown, and St. Joan of Arc in Canton.
At a time when people not only change jobs, but change careers several times in their working years, this commitment to Catholic School education is remarkable. During these years there has been much change in the world, the church, and at Ursuline. Here are some examples: The Catholic Church was just concluding Vatican II when she began to teach at Ursuline. She lived in the old convent (the former Wick Mansion) for a few years before a new convent was built in 1968. Enrollment at Ursuline in the mid-1960s was approximately 2000 compared to the 450 students currently enrolled. Steel mills and the jobs and industries that grew up around the mills were the main employers when she began teaching.
In her years at Ursuline Sr. Mary Ellen has had a variety of roles: History teacher, Registrar, and Librarian. She oversaw the renovation of the Library/Learning Center at Ursuline when it was remodeled in the 1990s.
Most recently she has returned to the classroom to resume her teaching career.
Congratulations Sr. Mary Ellen! We are proud of your commitment to Catholic Education as an Ursuline Sister.