A new granite bench was dedicated to the principal of Our Lady of Lourdes school on Friday.
Barbara Genera, who retired at the end of the school year, was celebrated for 30 years of service to the school, during which time she has worn a number of hats.
A career in teaching was Genera’s plan since childhood. She started out with six years as a public school teacher in Williams before coming to Our Lady of Lourdes school in 1978.
Filling a need whenever it was required, Genera taught a variety of subjects and grades. After teaching for 10 years, Genera was asked to be principal for the Catholic private school.
“I like being a principal but I like being in the classroom too, working with the kids” Genera said.
Genera said the most difficult aspect of Catholic school is money and budgeting, but that she constantly strived to “keep it affordable for all parents” through fundraisers, scholarships, the diocese, and parish.
“We’re here for all students that want to be here, regardless of faith,” explained Genera.
Building off of her tenure at the school, Genera now plans to work part time with the Diocese of Sacramento as a regional director for five schools.
Although she will not see the staff and students that she has grown close to daily, Genera is optimistic that she will still come to Our Lady of Lourdes a couple times a month.
“Not quite ready to do nothing, but ready to do not as much,” Genera said,
Genera smiled while talking about traveling and spending time with family. Genera said she enjoys reading and visiting with people but the thing she is really looking forward to is not having to get up so early in the morning.
“I won’t sleep in, but at least I won’t be getting up at 5:30 in the morning anymore,” Geneara claims.
Taking over for Genera will be Natalie McCullough who has taught math at Our Lady of Lourdes school and has a proclivity for being active on committees. Her commitment extends to her five children that all attend Catholic school as well.
“She pretty much knows how our school runs and so it’ll be easy for her to step in,” Genera said, confident that she is leaving her beloved school in capable hands. “She’s here almost daily teaching math, and she knows the staff really well and she knows the students, so it’ll be a really easy transition.”
Father Matthew Blank, who has worked alongside Genera, stated, “Barbara has dedicated her life to teaching and many, many years of that specifically to this school. She has led the school quite well and we owe her a great debt of gratitude. We will miss her greatly.”
After Mass on Friday, awards given to students for honor, merit, perfect attendance, and citizenship had an extra mention for Genera.
The engraved bench, which was dedicated following Mass, was a gift that came from funds raised by Vice Principal Montserrat Arias and parent Radene Cross, who sought out donations. The bench was delivered on the day designated for the school children and staff to send off Genera with cards and sentiments. ■