SUNSET PARK — Margaret Tyndall, principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy in Sunset Park, was one of two educators recently honored with the 2019 “Lighting the Fire for Catholic Education Award” by the Catholic School Administrators Association of New York State.
Tyndall’s personal story is one of devotion, dedication and empowerment. She was born the youngest of 16 children in Port Royal, Kingston, Jamaica. She emigrated to the United States 34 years ago and began what she calls her “second journey.”
She earned a bachelor’s degree in general education and a master’s degree in special education from Long Island University and a second master’s in school building and leadership from Fordham University.
“Before I came to the United States I taught at Port Royal Primary School as a third grade teacher, but I did not continue that trend when I came to the U.S.,” she told this paper.
“I worked at Chase Manhattan Bank for 12 years as a branch administrative assistant. After leaving Chase, I returned to teaching, the vocation I chose because of my love for our Savior and the children he gave to us. I believe that children should be nurtured and loved, and they should never be hurt and mistreated,” she added.
Tyndall called teaching the most fulfilling position she has ever held. “And now as the principal, it gives me such pleasure to be able to do so much more for our children,” she continued. “Each child deserves a champion, and we should all be champions for them.
Tyndall married her childhood sweetheart Reynell Tyndall, and they have two children, Kristina Marie and Kristopher Michael. She has been a member of the faculty at OLPH for 14 years and has served as principal for the last four years.
Tyndall told this paper that she was humbled and honored to receive the award. “I was very surprised that the diocese and colleagues see me as a champion for Catholic education,” said Tyndall.
Tyndall received praise from her colleagues. “We are delighted that Mrs. Tyndall has been recognized in this way. Her commitment to Catholic education and to the development of our children has long been recognized by the parents, teachers, pastors and board members of OLPH Catholic Academy,” said Ralph Nofi, chair of the Board of Directors of OLPH Catholic Academy.
“We are grateful for her leadership, for the gifted faculty that are her colleagues, and for the vibrant and caring school community that they continue to nurture in Sunset Park,” added Nofi.
The “Lighting the Fire for Catholic Education Award” recognizes Catholic school leaders who display a commitment to excellence through curriculum programs designed to meet the spiritual, academic and social-emotional needs of all students and teachers.