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Catching up with Sr. Maggie McDermott

By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager

Sr. Maggie McDermott in March 2021
Sr. Maggie McDermott in March 2021

The past few months for Sr. Maggie McDermott, OP, have been quite busy.

Sr. Maggie, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, and Executive Director of Tolentine Zeiser CLC, had to prepare for her school to reopen and get her staff and students familiar with new health and safety guidelines.

On a recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, Sr. Maggie gave listeners an insight into her “hectic” summer.

She explained that since Tolentine Zeiser went under the New York City Board of Education guidelines that the months of July and August were spent getting “everything fixed.” From deep cleanings to visits from the exterminator and painting all the classrooms, “it was very busy this summer,” shared Sr. Maggie.

“My responsibility is to get it all up and running, get it done, and try to use Elmer’s glue to keep it all together.”

For Sr. Maggie, last year was “relatively calm” due to many students learning remotely, and preparing for this year was much different for her and her staff.

Sr. Maggie McDermott
Sr. Maggie McDermott

When preparing her staff for the school year, Sr. Maggie’s message to them was, “It’s all hands on deck; we really have to work together.”

The unity with her staff has served Sr. Maggie well and led to a successful school year beginning.

Along with hopes for a “peaceful, joyful, and happy year ahead,” Sr. Maggie is also hopeful that Tolentine “can service more families in the upcoming year.”

She added, “We are really trying to encourage our parents to bring their kids to school.”

When asked what her message to parents would be who are hesitant to bring their child back to in-person learning and why they should come back to Tolentine, Sr. Maggie smiled and shared, “Because we’re the best place… we’re the best place on University Avenue. I really believe that we care about the whole child; we care about their families.”


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