O’Neill is no stranger to the JB Way and the mission of Julie Billiart Schools.
Having gone full circle at JB, Mary Jo attended the Lyndhurst campus from third
grade through eighth grade. Her passion for the school and its mission eventually
brought Mary Jo back to teaching at JB for nearly ten years. She has so many
incredible memories, stories, and life lessons that have truly shaped the
person she is today.
direction of Sister Barbara Klodt, Mary Jo became the first female student
board president. Mary Jo, who never saw herself as a leader, embraced her new role
as the first female to hold this position. She recalls feeling like her words
mattered, and that she was impacting her classmates in a positive way. Sister
Barbara would listen to Mary Jo’s ideas and suggestions. Mary Jo remembers
watching her ideas blossom into projects that became successful. “Sister
Barbara made me feel like I was on a pedestal,” said Mary Jo.
Mary Jo likes to run. Her gym teacher at JB, Mr. Hollingsworth, recognized that
Mary Jo had a passion for running. He would let her lead the “pack” down
Clubside Road during gym class! Mary Jo went on to Gilmour Academy to run. Her
dad also began to take her running on road races. Mary Jo and her husband,
John, currently participate in half marathons and 10K runs. Thanks to JB, Mr.
Hollingsworth was the first person to help Mary Jo believe in herself that she
could go far with running.
Mary Jo currently works at Hickman & Lowder
Co. L.P.A. as a Special Education Advocate. She and John have three children – Josephine,
Patricia, and Matthew. We are excited to announce that Mary Jo will be
spearheading the Alumni Relations Program at Julie Billiart Schools. Mary Jo
believes it’s important to be around the people who have guided her. She also
believes it is important to bring colleagues and classmates together to keep
spreading the good word. There will be more details coming soon about the
Alumni Relations Program . . . so stay tuned!