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Field distinguished among St. Mary graduates

March 28, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Linda Field recently won the Distinguished Graduate Award from St. Mary Catholic School.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

Linda Field’s memories of St. Mary Catholic School reach back a long way.

She remembers being in the seventh-grade classroom on Nov. 22, 1963, and hearing that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

She recalls that Donna Carder was the first girl to befriend her when Field moved to Hagerstown and began attending the school that year.

Field went to Carder’s house after school on Fridays for sleepovers. They sang as “The Crickettes,” their young female take on The Beatles.

“We called WJEJ one time and sang them a song,” Field said.

Just recently, Field, 59, of Hagerstown, had another experience at the school that is likely to have a lasting impression.

At a Mass on Feb. 4, during Catholic Schools Week, St. Mary Catholic School presented Field with the Distinguished Graduate Award.

Award recipients must have graduated from eighth grade at the school, and must volunteer to help with school events and projects.

Field was unaware that she was being considered for the honor. Her husband, Bruce Field, and a friend “contrived” to get her to Mass that day, she said.

“I felt like I won an Oscar. I did. I was totally surprised and felt very honored,” Field said.

Field is humble in describing her work with the school. She said she “helps out with some of the activities and with music.”

But Deborah Bockrath, St. Mary’s marketing and development director, said Field “works tirelessly in many ways to help promote the school.”

Field taught religious education through CCD — the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine — and was a church musician for about 25 years. She is a cantor, an officer in the Catholic Daughters of America, a summer children’s Bible retreat volunteer and a confirmation retreat leader, Bockrath said.

She also helps run the religious articles store at St. Mary, assists with the annual fund campaign for the school and much more, Bockrath said.

“Linda is always eager to help out. Whatever you need her to do, you just say something, and whatever she can do, she does it. You can count on Linda,” she said.

Field’s daughter, Kerri Corderman of Baltimore, also is a St. Mary graduate.

Field said she has seen some changes at the school over the years. Most evident is that teachers used to be almost all nuns, and now they are mostly laypeople.

But she said core values remain the same.

“There is still a respectful atmosphere,” she said.

Field said she values her experiences at St. Mary.

“I’ll tell ya, I just have a very warm spot in my heart for the parish and the school. I consider it a real blessing that I’ve been able to stay in Hagerstown and be a part of St. Mary’s for all these 47 years,” Field said.

“They gave me a little gold pin that says ‘Distinguished Graduate Award.’ I told the principal (Patricia McDermott), ‘I will wear my pin proudly.’”

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