By Lisa Zepponi
GREENVILLE – The newest addition to the St. Joseph Catholic High School chapel, an antique Italian statue of St. Joseph, was placed in its new home of honor. The St. Joseph statue was blessed during a special Mass by Father Bill Henry, where the late Boyd McGaugh and his wife Sandra McGaugh were recognized for their support of St. Joseph Catholic Schools.
The school had been searching for the perfect statue of its namesake. The McGaugh family has actively been part of the St. Joseph School system for many years. Sandra McGaugh is the daughter of a St. Joseph graduate, the late Fletcher Low, who graduated in 1917, along with his four siblings. After Sandra and her sisters, Kay Low Gable (1959), Judy Low Cannon, her husband James (1959) and Penny Low Crowson (1961) graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School, Sandra returned to teach.
Sandra has taught at St. Joseph for 52 of her 54 years in education. She has been the former English Chair, cheerleading sponsor, National Honor Society Sponsor and senior class sponsor. She is the current yearbook sponsor, senior religion teacher and journalism teacher at St. Joseph High School. The Delta Democrat Times honored her as Best Teacher of the Year in 2013.
Sandra has a total dedication to and love for her school; she is thankful for the ability God has given her to help mold many generations of SJHS students who have crossed her path. McGaugh feels blessed to have taught so many students who have become successful in life.
“I believe that being educated in a Catholic School is the best gift a parent can give a child in preparing the child for life as a prosperous Christian man or woman, she said. “Jesus is the center of the highest academic endeavors, and because of his teachings, children learn the values necessary for life and beyond.”
Sandra’s late husband, Boyd, supported her wish to educate their children in a Catholic school. Their children, Lea (1985), Jim (1986) and Brian (1995), a current teacher at SJHS and his wife Marcie (1994), all graduated from St. Joseph.
The McGaugh grandchildren Matthew (2009) and Hunter (2013), sons of Jim, graduated from SJHS; Gracie, Madeline and Fletcher McGaugh, children of Brian, all attend Our Lady of Lourdes. Their grandchildren, Will and Luke, Lea’s sons attend St. Clare Catholic School in Belleville, Ill.
Sandra said, “Boyd had a quick wit; he loved people, and he loved St. Joe. He allowed me to do my work, and encouraged me to enter into the many activities that I have sponsored throughout the years. He loved having the students working on school floats at our house, and he readily worked hard to assure that our three children would attend St Joe.
“He often chaperoned student trips and took charge of several fish fries to benefit the school. He would love the idea of a statue being dedicated in our honor. He converted to Catholicism in 2011, but called himself a ‘Catholic in spirit’ long before then.”
SJHS Principal Paul Artman said, “Both Mr. and Mrs. McGaugh, as well as other generations of this family, have been vested in St. Joseph Catholic School. The McGaughs continue to honor our school; consequently, our dedication of this blessed statue is so fitting!”
The new Italian statue of St. Joseph is now at home, where it will be viewed with loving memory of Boyd McGaugh and in honor of an extremely dedicated family and its matriarch, Sandra Low McGaugh.