As her 41-year educational career draws to a close, the longtime principal at Wadsworth's St. Patrick School will be honored with a special Mass on Saturday.
Marcella A. Bosnak has led St. Patrick since 1979. When she joined the staff, the school had nine teachers and 150 students.
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It's boomed since then, expanding to 28 teachers and 534 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.
The school itself has grown, too. During Bosnak's tenure, three wings, a gymnasium and a multipurpose room were added.
The school's early childhood wing was named for Bosnak earlier this year.
"St. Patrick's is a place that has been my life's work," Bosnak said in a news release. "I made a decision early on that every child who walked through these doors would be happy and would know there was a certain joy in learning rooted in the Catholic faith."
A Waukegan native, Bosnak launched her career as a first-grade teacher in North Chicago in 1972. She taught for seven years until shifting to school administration.
The Rev. Fred Pesek, the parish pastor, praised Bosnak's efforts.
"She's done a lot of beautiful work with many generations of children who have attended the school," Pesek said in the news release.
The Mass honoring Bosnak is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the church, 15020 Wadsworth Road. A reception will follow at the Boehm Center on the parish campus.