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​Celebrating 40 years of working in the IWHS family

December 03, 2019 | posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future


Celebrating 40 years of working in the IWHS family

Incarnate Word High School (IWHS) has announced and celebrated that Mary Ann De la Garza, director of Student Services, has just completed her 40th year of service. De la Garza, or “Dela” as she is better known by the Shamrock family, is an alum of IWHS. She was honored during the annual University of the Incarnate Word Heritage Day Ceremony on October 9.

De la Garza is a native of San Antonio having received her undergraduate degree at the former Incarnate Word College and her master’s degree in Music from the University of Notre Dame.

In her 40 years at IWHS, De la Garza has served in numerous roles and served on numerous committees. She has sponsored clubs and has served as part of the administration.

De la Garza has won numerous awards in her years at IWHS. She has been recognized as an outstanding educator by the Alumni Association of the University of Notre Dame, been the recipient of the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, selected as the TAPPS Fine Arts Teacher of the Year, awarded the CCVI Spirit Award, received the Mother Columkille Award, and has been recognized as an Outstanding Leader in Catholic Education by the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

De la Garza says she is most proud of her work with the Glee Club and Madrigals. She says the experience of singing at the White House, Blair House and at the State Department are among her most memorable times with the Madrigals.

“I want to thank my family and friends for all their love and support,” says De la Garza. “I would also like to thank all the choral and Madrigal parents, both current and former, who have supported the girls in all their endeavors.”

Also honored during the Heritage Day Ceremony were Kateri Martinez for 20 years at IWHS, Sharon Perez for 10 years and Nancy Strilka and Anthony Uminski, both, for five years of service with the Shamrock family.

“We are so blessed to have such a dedicated group of people here at Incarnate Word High School who continually work in the spirit of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word,” says IWHS Principal/CEO Dr. Anna Downey. “From 40 years to five years, these are perfect examples of what it is to work with a servant’s heart and we are thankful to them all.”