Mary Hamiter (Miss Mary) was born in Grand Forks, but grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She attended Saint Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin where she majored in French and minored in Spanish. Mary continued her study of the French language and literature at Fordham University in New York City and received her Master’s degree in 1983.
In October of 1985, looking for adventure, Mary joined the United States Navy as a commissioned officer. She served in the Republic of the Philippines and Norfolk, Virginia. It was during this time that Mary met her husband, Todd Hamiter, a native of Columbia, South Carolina. They were married in April of 1989.
In 1999, Mary and Todd joined the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori (GSCM) community in Cincinnati, Ohio, when their son, Harry, began kindergarten. Mary, a stay-at-home mom, volunteered for many activities and served on various committees, including the PTO and Middle School Planning Committee. Mary provided music at the weekly school Mass from the fall of 2002 to the spring of 2017. In the fall of 2011, Mary was hired to teach language arts, logic, and Erdkinder at GSCM while continuing to plan and provide music for Mass. Both of Mary’s children were enrolled and completed the preschool, elementary, and adolescent programs at GSCM. A speaker at the 2016 GSCM Gala, Mary’s son said that he felt his Montessori experience at GSCM had prepared him well for his adult life.
Mary and Todd moved to Minneapolis in June of 2017, and in the fall of 2017, she joined the St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School team. Mary’s son, Harry, is a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Navy stationed in San Diego. Her daughter, Annie, is a high school English teacher in South Carolina.
Favorite Saint: Solanus Casey. As a mother, I often thought of Solanus Casey who served the Franciscans as their porter in Detroit. In his ministry, he did so many seemingly small things on his path to sainthood. It encouraged me to think that all the small unnoticed things I did every day might also be my path to sainthood.
Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: My husband and I like to go biking and camping. I play the piano every day. I am also studying the Irish language at the Celtic Junction in Saint Paul.
Favorite Children’s Book: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. My mother read this to us every night and brought the book to life. Sitting on my mother’s lap while she read is a treasured childhood memory.
Favorite Place in Minnesota: It would have to be Bemidji. As a child, we took the train every summer from Green Bay to my maternal grandmother’s house in Grand Forks. Then we would head off to Grace Lake near Bemidji in her 1956 Chevy Bel Air. Every summer, we had a family photo taken with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji. I cried the summer I was too big to stand under Babe. Years later, I returned to the Bemidji area as a camp counselor at Concordia Language Villages Lac du Bois French camp. We drove to Bemidji for Mass on Sundays followed by brunch. I saw my old friends Paul and Babe once more. Having moved to Minneapolis, my husband surprised me with a road trip to Bemidji and Lac du Bois. The highlight of the summer of 2020 was camping at Lake Bemidji State Park, biking the Paul Bunyan Trail, and having my picture taken on my bike in front of Paul and Babe.
Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Humility, kindness, a love of reading and devotion to God—Sister Pelagia, high school sophomore English teacher.