Little did the school know that when it hired Noreen Lidston thirty-six years ago in the spring of 1979, that it had hired a dynamo, an educator who would someday be one of the McDonogh greats.
For over five decades, Mrs. Lidston has brought the joy of learning to thousands of students. She began her career as a reading specialist and soon demonstrated an amazing ability to teach while always bringing a wonderful sense of nurturing to her students. Joyful, kind, fun, funny, dedicated, generous, loyal, and highly perceptive, she was destined to play a significant role in the leadership of the school.
In 1987, Mrs. Lidston was appointed the first Assistant Head of Lower School and eight years later she was selected to be the new Head of Lower School. Headmaster Bo Dixon said, “If the search process had been an election, she would have won by a landslide!”
What has made Mrs. Lidston such a special person goes beyond words. Her innate sense of kindness and wisdom has helped her make a phenomenal difference in the lives of so many. She has been wacky and whimsical, creating experiences such as Aquapalooza, fantastic reading challenges, and poignant Back-to-School Night presentations which go to the heart of what it truly means to educate a child.
So many of us have a vision of Mrs. Lidston, riding down the slide during Aquapalooza wearing some crazy costume, with a huge smile on her face and children and adults joyously cheering. And what a ride it has been!
Mrs. Lidston, mother to Colin, Class of 2001, and wife to Bob, has made a profound difference. She has been so generous with her life. As she wrote in a letter, “If being generous with my life means that I have helped to create a school setting in which teachers feel enabled and empowered to love children into being their best selves, then I am grateful and I am content.”
Mrs. Lidston, thank you for all that you have done for McDonogh. We have been so fortunate to have you here. You have given far more than you have taken, and now we wish you and Bob the very best in retirement.