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Cecilia ‘Honey’ O’Leary - Inspirational Mentor of the Year

Honey O’Leary, a bright light and life-long educator says, “Every day of the 27 years I was given [at Carondelet] left me something to reflect on, celebrate, and often laugh about.”

A life-long educator, Honey O’Leary has spent her life sharing love, joy, and knowledge. A religious studies teacher at Carondelet from 1978 - 2001, she impacted the lives of students, parents, faculty, and staff. Honey came out of retirement in 2009 to become the full-time community service director. She received the Jefferson Award for ‘Outstanding Community Service’ in 2012 on the eve of her 2nd retirement from Carondelet. 

Honey had been a nun in the Sisters of Mercy religious order for 12 years when she met her late husband Jack in 1967. A year later, the two got married and moved to the California East Bay where both Honey and Jack spent a majority of their teaching careers at Carondelet and De La Salle, respectively. 

This year’s well-deserving mentor of the year has been described as intelligent, understanding, hardworking, supportive, and loving.


“The honor being extended to me by the Alumna Association of Carondelet is an occasion for profound gratitude to God and the entire Carondelet Community. I am grateful to God for the gift of teaching. I am grateful to the Carondelet community for the privilege of teaching and learning from open-minded students, collaborative colleagues, and involved parents who embodied the heart, faith, and courage of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“Every day of the 27 years I was given left me something to reflect on, celebrate, and often laugh about. Running the risk of being irreverent (which will not surprise my former students) I dare say that was one fine gig. Thank you for this opportunity to thank all of you.”

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