A bittersweet goodbye at Tolton High School

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COLUMBIA - Beloved secretary at Father Tolton Catholic High School spent her last day filled with love and kindness.

Mary Creach, administrative assistant, has spent 40 years in education. She's been at Tolton before it ever existed. She remembers when she had an office down by Columbia College, where Tolton's first classes took place.

"We would run across town because they didn't have a printer," Creach said. "The teachers would email me stuff and I would print it and drive across town and leave it for them, and then go back." 

Tolton has been in it's new building on Gans Road for eight years. Creach has enjoyed watching Tolton transform into what it is today.

"Although I've watched the building grow, the best thing is seeing the kids grow," Creach said.

Coleman Sapp, substitute teacher, has been apart of the Tolton community alongside Creach. He went to Tolton back when classes took place at Columbia College. He is now a substitute teacher. Sapp was grateful to see a familiar face when he made his return to Tolton.

"She has been one of the remaining people that have been here from the beginning," Sapp said. "There's not many people left that have done that."

Brenda Neuhaus, administrative assistant to the Athletic Director, has worked alongside Mary since March. Brenda and Mary have known each other for five years through a church choir. Once Neuhaus found out she could work alongside Mary everyday, she knew she had to jump on it.

"She's the integral part of Tolton, she's the face of Tolton, and she's one of the reasons Tolton is a great place to work,"Neuhaus said. 

Creach is excited for the future of Tolton. Her main message she wants students to uphold is kindness.  

"I hope they felt cared and loved for while they were here," Creach said. "I believe that's my legacy here." 

Yet, her impact has stretched beyond the student body.

"The parents are going miss her because she's the voice they hear on the telephone," Neuhaus said. "She brings comfort when their kids are sick or when they're kids have questions."

Right now, Creach doesn't have any plans for retirement. She comfortable with just being free, and seeing where life takes her.