ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — Students and staff at a Catholic school in Baldwin County are saying goodbye to their longest-serving principal. The principal of St. Patrick Catholic School in Robertsdale is retiring. In a way, it’s fitting that a school named for the most well-known Irish saint would also have an Irish nun for a principal. That’s part of the charm of Sister Margaret Harte. It’s her last week as principal at St. Patrick. Harte moved from her convent in Ireland to take a job as a teacher in 1980, a year after the school opened. After a decade she was promoted to principal. Sister Margaret says she’s loved the friends she’s made along the way and the children she’s had the privilege of seeing grow and learn. She says she also enjoyed learning about American traditions like Thanksgiving and Memorial Day and will miss this place. Sister Margaret tells us the simple message she had for every child in the school

“Be the light of the world. And every day I would tell our students that every day is a new beginning. We get a brand new clean plate every day. And I also advise them to do the work of every day and all will be well,” said Sister Margaret Harte. “When I see the successes, I’m really blessed. And that’s a real joy for any educator, I think, to have their students be successful.” Faculty and staff were gathering pictures this week and know she’ll be missed.

“She is like a beam of light that brings joy and happiness to our school,” said Assistant Principal Miska Dembowski. Sister Margaret says she’s going back to her original convent in Ireland. She won’t leave immediately but will have time to make that transition and should be back home in September. She’s spent most of her life in Robertsdale dedicating 43 years to this school.