The early ’70s was a time of political and societal change. Fairfield Prep was not immune, and its traditional model of education was thrown into flux with the advent of widespread curricular change, mini-courses, modular scheduling, and the hiring of female teachers. When Maureen Bohan arrived at Prep in 1973, she was one of only a handful of women on the faculty. Back then no one could have imagined the impact this outstanding individual would have on the math department, the school, the national network of Jesuit schools and beyond.
Maureen is a consummate professional educator who commands the respect of her students by actively engaging them in learning. She sets high standards but gives her students the tools to succeed, using multiple teaching modalities to address various learning styles. Her effectiveness was recognized when she was honored with the first Rev. Martin Shaughnessy, S.J., Ignatian Educator of the Year Award in 2011 (pictured above with Pres. Rev. Jack Hanwell, S.J., and former Prep teacher Rev. Martin Shaughnessy, S.J.)
Maureen is intentionally adaptable, focused on professional development to keep her methodology current to the changing needs of her students. She was a pioneer in utilizing computer-assisted learning, piloting creative initiatives long before the iPad came onto the scene. She trained teachers in developing websites, implementing the Blackboard and Schoology systems, setting up electronic grading, and was one of the first to employ iPads in the classroom.
Maureen was one of the original teachers to chaperone community service projects, most notably her longstanding commitment to our Appalachian immersion. She was also integrally involved in numerous retreats.
Respected for Her Excellence in Jesuit Education
Highly respected by her peers, Maureen was consistently voted to represent her colleagues on Standing and Ad Hoc Committees — most importantly the Finance Committee — and all accreditation and sponsorship reviews. She chaired the math department, many times exceeding her terms. Maureen was frequently called upon by NEASC, our accrediting organization, to serve on review teams for schools throughout New England and was enlisted to conduct sponsorship reviews within the Jesuit School Network (JSN). She also presented at numerous colloquia, symposia, and professional development workshops sponsored by the JSN.
Maureen’s generosity of spirit is simply selfless, and she’s always willing to take on a challenge or volunteer for a task. It is hard to imagine Prep without the fortitude, wisdom, guidance, and leadership of Maureen Bohan. After a stellar career, spanning almost five decades, she will never be forgotten. She will always remain in the minds and hearts of her students and colleagues for the knowledge, motivation, and wisdom that she imparted.
Maureen, you have every right to look back with pride on an amazing career. May you thoroughly enjoy this next chapter of your life exploring endless possibilities and doing all of the things you always wanted to do. — By Dean of Operations Colleen Keltos and fellow colleagues
Maureen Bohan Bids Farewell
Dear Prep Community,
One of my life’s greatest blessings was becoming a member of the Fairfield Prep community. Little did I know, when I visited the 3rd floor of Xavier for the first time in June 1973, that I would spend my entire teaching career at Prep — and that I would end it teaching in the very same room in which my initial interview was held!
I joined Prep as member of the Capsule faculty. In my first year, I was so excited to have a chance to develop math curriculum, offer a computer science elective and work with talented students. But I quickly realized that Prep was much more than just a college preparatory school. It was a family, with members looking out for one another.
I fondly remember Fr. Brissette meeting me at the elevator each morning and asking how the boys were treating me. He encouraged me to challenge them, to stick with it and not to let their antics discourage me. Having someone so respected by all taking an interest in my welfare, meant the world to me.
Fr. Borgo invited me to participate in the Appalachian mini-course. It was on these trips that I came to understand cura personalis as John would take the time to talk with everyone we met, making them feel special and valued.
When asked why I continued to stay at Prep I would answer that I loved teaching and that Prep was a special place. Many of my colleagues past and present, especially those in the math department, have become lifelong friends. I treasure those passionate faculty meetings in the ’80s and ’90s where we could not agree on much but still managed to remain friends.
But the reason I stayed was the boys — they are the heart and soul of Prep. Covid has certainly reminded us of that. Their energy, enthusiasm and embodiment of the Prep motto, “We may laugh, we may cry, but we never say die,” is what brings Prep to life. I am so glad that the students have been able to return for my final spring. Every June my seniors would always ask me, “Will you miss us when we graduate?” I would say yes, but I want you to go — live your life, remember us at Prep and come back to visit. I want to hear all about it. To the alumni who have reached out to me from time to time to do just that, your notes always made me smile and renewed me.
I am as excited to begin the next phase of my life’s journey as Prep is to begin its next chapter with the launching of the McLeod Innovation Center and the Barrett Science Center. I am confident that God’s graces will be upon us both. May the Lord keep you in the palm of his hand until we meet again.
— Maureen Bohan
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