Sister Edna Ann Hebert, O.P.
Sister Edna Ann Hebert, O.P.
Sister John Michael Hebert, O.P.
Sister Edna Ann Hebert was born to Marie Melancon-Hebert and Francis Hebert in Port Arthur, Texas. Sister Edna Ann attended St. Mary Catholic School in Port Arthur through the second grade and then attended St. James Catholic School from third grade through twelfth grade. Sister Edna Ann recalls having a wonderful time as a child with her parents, brother and two sisters.“Dad loved to tell stories and sing to us. It was a wonderful childhood.”
Even from a young age Sister Edna Ann wanted to be a Sister. “I was in the first grade and loved the sisters who taught me. I would tell them I was going to be a nun one day.” During her high school years she found herself busy with friends, thinking less of entering the convent. After graduation she taught piano lessons. At the age of 21 all the love came back to her and she realized what she wanted to do was to become a Sister. She came to Houston to visit the Dominican Sisters. “I loved them. They were so friendly and kind. That is when I knew that is what I wanted to be.” Sister Edna Ann entered the convent in September 1952.
Sister Edna Ann taught first grade for eleven years at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Houston, Holy Rosary Catholic School in Rosenberg and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Galveston. In 1964 she began her Montessori training after learning about the Montessori Philosophy. “I just loved Montessori. I was already using some of the methodology in my classes. I just didn’t realize it.”
While taking her training she served as the Director of the newly formed Head Start Program for the Houston/Galveston schools in 1965. “We were working in some of the poorest communities. The children didn’t know their colors or alphabets, but when they started learning it, the excitement they had…it was the best.”
She also developed a reading program that was used by many teaching institutions in the US and abroad and spent much of her time giving workshops to educational professionals.
In 1966 she completed her Montessori training and co-founded Dominican Montessori School, which later became St. Catherine’s Montessori. Sister Edna Ann became one of the leading experts in Montessori Education. During her 58 years of teaching she brought Montessori curriculum to other schools as well, including St. Mary of the Purification in Houston and St. Mary Catholic School in Port Arthur.
“I love teaching children when they first start to read.” In 2000 she became the Director of the Reading Center, which was established for the sole purpose of giving Sister Edna Ann a place to do what she loved. Here she was able to help children from all over Houston learn to read for minimal or no cost to the families.
Over the past 50 years Sister Edna Ann has served in many capacities on the St. Catherine’s Montessori Board of Directors and received Emeritus status upon her retirement in December 2011.
Sister Edna Ann has wonderful stories from her years with her Dominican Sisters. “I feel like we are all one, all a family. Everyone is always kind. I love them all.”
Sister Edna Ann is spending her retirement years visiting friends and family, reading. She maintains her beloved presence at St. Catherine's, visiting with the children regularly as she attends monthly masses and school-wide events.
Interview with Sister Edna Ann Hebert, O.P. on December 10, 2013. Updated March 2017.