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.
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.