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St. Anthony teacher becomes principal

A former student told, then St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School teacher, Felicia Andrews Runnels, “I saw Christ in you.” (Runnels was holding back the tears as she told the story.)
Runnels former student told her that to explain why he wanted her to be his confirmation sponsor. This student also thanked Runnels for having high expectations for her students. As a teacher Runnels always set the example for her students and now is influencing even more students as the new principal at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School in Beaumont.
Runnels said she loves the St Anthony Cathedral Basilica School because “St. Anthony has a wonderful spirit; you feel the love of God here.”
Runnels spends each morning walking through the school because she wants to be visible and “get a pulse of what’s going on” so she can put out small fires before they grow, and because she wants to get to know the students. Runnels instituted “Teachers Morning Prayers” at 7:35 a.m. each school day. The teachers attending say a prayer and sing a song together. Runnels feels this helps start the day on a positive note and that this positivity flows down to the students.
Runnels has been affecting students at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School for a long time. Runnels started teaching computer class at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School 18 years ago. Runnels feels that love for students is shown by making sure each student reaches his full potential.
Runnels said “it’s like the kids are waiting for someone to hold them accountable.” Runnels said that as a teacher she felt she was “fair, firm and consistent.” Former students have commented that they appreciated her for the way she taught. Her job as a principal has not changed her focus; but the methods of reaching the students are a little different from the principal level. Long before Runnels was a principal, she was a Catholic school student.
Runnels grew up attending Catholic schools in Lafayette, La. After Runnels graduated from Holy Rosary High School, in Lafayette, she went on to graduate from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Her first teaching job was at the now closed Corpus Christi Catholic School in New Orleans. She would later follow family to Beaumont and start teaching at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School. The principals she worked under had a profound effect on Runnels.
Sister Jenny Jones, from Corpus Christy Catholic School in New Orleans, and former St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School principals Sister Anne Middlebrook, Mary Ann Mechura and Phyllis Walters saw something in the young Runnels, and pushed her to further her education. Last May, Runnels obtained her master’s degree from Lamar University.
Runnels attends Our Lady of Victory Church in Sour Lake where she sings in the choir for 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sundays.

By | 2017-05-03T15:23:03+00:00 October 13th, 2016|English, ETC Online, This Just In|0 Comments
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