A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 6 in St. Ann Church, Lawrenceville, for Mary Ann Liptak, a longtime teacher in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, who died Aug. 1.
Born in Trenton, Ms. Liptak was a lifelong Lawrenceville resident. She graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1962 and continued her education, receiving a bachelor of arts in English and French and a master of arts degree in educational administration from Rider University, Lawrenceville. She retired after more than 40 years of service to Notre Dame where she was a teacher, past dean of academics, past chair of English and world studies and past vice principal.
“The Notre Dame family mourns the passing of Mary Ann Liptak,” stated Mary Liz Ivins, Notre Dame principal, in a message on the school website.
“This master teacher enabled thousands of young writers to find their voices. She brilliantly invited her students into the wonders of classic literature,” Ivins said. “Mary Ann, may God forever gently hold you in the palm of his hand.”
In 1990, Ms. Liptak was nominated to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and thereafter for seven years. She was a past member of Phi Delta Kapa, an international association for professional educators, since 1991, and was a past member of ASCD (Association of School and Curriculum Development) and NJASCD. She was a very active member for many years in St. Michael Church, Trenton, where she was a past president of the parish council, a former trustee and former director of the parish’s education committee and finance committee.
Ms. Liptak was the daughter of the late Andrew and Helen Baran Liptak. She is survived by her aunt, Lillian C. Baran; her cousin, George Schumm and his family, and numerous friends, colleagues and former students.
Barry Breen, president of Notre Dame High, recalled his nine-year tenure serving as principal of the school and having the opportunity to “observe her teaching regularly.”
“As a former English teacher myself, It was a responsibility I quickly came to cherish. Mary Ann’s classroom was a special, active and happy place. Her lessons were always remarkable for their creative approach to the material. Quite simply and magically, she opened minds and got her students to think and to see the world and literature in brand new ways. And she encouraged that same creativity in their own written work,” Breen said.
Now from his perspective as a school administrator, Breen said he “trusted her completely.”
“When one of our academic departments was struggling with some internal issues, I asked her to take the leadership of that department in addition to her own departmental responsibilities. She healed the wounds. When I needed someone to lead the school through the accreditation process, I turned to her. She got us through,” said Breen.
“Mary Ann had three great loves in her life: her God, her school and each and every student she taught. She gave herself totally to each until the very end,” Breen said. “May God bless and keep you, Mary Ann. And may you live forever in the bricks of Notre Dame High School and in the hearts of the thousands you taught, shaped and formed here for the past 42 years.”
Interment will be in Ewing Cemetery, Ewing.
Memorial contributions may be made to Notre Dame High School, Tuition Assistance Fund, 601 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648.