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May 17, 2018 07:32 AM

Miss Mac Celebrates 50 Years At St. Mary School With Final Goodbye

Sioux Falls

A St. Mary School teacher is celebrating a special milestone.

Very few people stay at the same job for their entire careers, but Jan McEntee has done just that. This year is her final school year, before saying goodbye to St. Mary's. 

Before school is out for the summer, all these third graders want is one final hug. 

"Her great hugs, her funny farm stories, her hugs," said Oliva Miner, Lucy Koziara & Cohen Steffen.

But not just any hug, a hug from Jan McEntee, their teacher who's better known as Miss Mac. 

"I've always just been the mad hugger of St. Mary's School," said McEntee. 

"She told us when somebody pats on your back, it means they actually mean it, so she squeezes you and pats on your back," said Koziara.

That final hug will mark the end of this leg of her journey.

"I told Jesus, I told the good Lord, that I promise I will do his job for 50 years," McEntee said.

"Yeah, I'll probably cry the whole summer when I think about her, I'm going to probably cry on the last day of school," said Miner.

Miss Mac landed her first job here at the age of 20, and now at 70, she still plans on living one day at a time. 

She's spent every day, the past 50 years, teaching third grade in this very classroom. 

"But it doesn't feel like that, this year, it felt a little bit more like it, because I'm getting tired," said McEntee. 

Her students know if they want to say hello or ever need a hug, Miss Mac will be back. 

"We did a circle of grace thing and we have her phone number, so we can call her, and Miss Mac said she would visit us...maybe," said Miner & Steffen.

"Best school ever, right here, St. Mary's," McEntee said.

Miss Mac says she's ready to mark another milestone as a retired teacher...seeing the ocean for the first time. 

The staff and students will celebrate with a final farewell this Friday at St. Mary Church. 

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