Ask any alumni of The Caedmon School between the years 1971 and 1995 and they are sure to tell you about their love for early childhood teacher Marilyn Ann McTague. Before teaching, Miss McTague briefly considered a career in acting, and though it was something she still pursued, she found her true calling after learning about the Montessori teaching method. She started working at Caedmon in 1971 as an assistant teacher in the school’s Early Program, and within a year was promoted to head teacher. Over her 30-year tenure at the school, she taught, guided and cared for countless of New York City’s young children.
We are saddened to announce her passing. Miss McTague died Jan. 2 in Jefferson City, Missouri, after a long, fulfilling life as a dedicated teacher, administrator and dear friend. We felt it fitting to share more details about her tenure at our school in honor of her generous spirit and the gifts she has bestowed upon our children and community.
Miss McTague is most remembered for her in-depth knowledge of each individual student, and delighted children with her classroom menagerie of bunny rabbits, baby chicks and even a lizard. Wise and sensitive, she possessed a gentle and soft-spoken manner, and an occasionally firm hand. “At first sight, she seemed to embody everything that a preschool teacher should be,” one parent remarked.
Art specialist Kristina Bakker said, “She was viewed by the children as a wonderful great aunt; by the teachers and staff, a grande dame. She was the Queen Mother of the school.”
In 1995, Miss McTague transitioned from the classroom into an administrative role and became the coordinator of the Early Program. As a way of honoring her career as a teacher, the school inaugurated The Marilyn Ann McTague Fund to Benefit Teachers. As part of our annual giving campaign, parents and supporters can contribute in Miss McTague’s name to the professional development of Caedmon faculty.
As she has said of her devotion to teaching and children, “You love them. You’re happy to see them develop. Years later they stop by Caedmon, or I am invited to their college and law school graduations. Then one day they send pictures of their own children. All the while, you have shared so many beginnings and precious memories with them. It’s extraordinary.”
We are honored to have worked with such a caring and dedicated individual and thankful for the ways in which her talents have enhanced and shaped our school community.