After 21 and a half years at Saint Ignatius High School, Patty Fitzpatrick will leave the Saint Ignatius community with a smile on their face when they hear her name.
Fitzpatrick will be retiring at the end of this month after serving the school in multiple capacities from her time as a Gift Steward in the Advancement Office, to the Reception area, and finally in the Payroll and Accounts Payable Office.
Saint Ignatius High School President Rev. Raymond P. Guiao, S.J. ’82 knew Fitzpatrick when she began working in Reception while he was still a faculty member. The word he used to describe as her as a person as well as her work was “gracious.”
“She loves the school and embodies the mission well. She is a great face to represent the school to external constituents,” says Fr. Guiao.
Her boss, Finance Controller Patti Walcutt, says, “She will do whatever it takes to make sure people are paid on time and does it willingly and joyfully.” She went on to say that there are many times where Fitzpatrick will be the only person on campus, working after hours to ensure payroll is completed.
Always working with deadlines, Fitzpatrick says that can be the most stressful part of the job. Even when people ask Fitzpatrick for last minute favors, Walcutt says she completes the task cheerfully and has impeccable integrity.
One of her biggest accomplishments during her career with the school has been keeping up with the ever-changing technology. In her office in the basement of the St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel, Fitzpatrick sorted physical paperwork documenting vacation time and PTO as well as clock-in and clock-out times for employees before transitioning to a computer system.
“She worked behind the scenes to make it happen and did it with confidentiality and a smile,” says Walcutt.
“Saint Ignatius is the best place I’ve ever worked,” says Fitzpatrick. “It is full of great people who work hard and embrace the Ignatian way. It truly is a family.”
The people she works with are what Fitzpatrick will miss the most, along with seeing the students engage in sports and traditional activities that are staples in the Saint Ignatius community. The springtime chariot races and watching the football and soccer teams win state championships are some of her favorite memories. She and her husband are avid sports fans, especially for Cleveland teams, which made watching the games at Saint Ignatius even more fun.
“It was fun being around the youth, their excitement and enthusiasm for life,” says Fitzpatrick.
During her tenure, Fitzpatrick’s two sons were among the enthusiastic students, graduating in 2001 and 2007. Spending more time with her family is one of Fitzpatrick’s goals after retirement as she plans to help with her six grandchildren. When it is again safe to travel, she and her husband plan to follow the Cleveland Indians to their games at various ballparks, see the Grand Canyon, and take a train ride from Washington state to Canada.
Walcutt says, “Patty is irreplaceable. If you said her name, people would have a smile on their face and a story to tell.”