Kathie Carey and Cheryl Hunt have several things in common: number of years married (45), number of years working for Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Hermosa Beach (21), and their love for the school’s community.And now, after two decades sharing experiences together, they have each decided to take different turns with their new lives.Carey, the school’s secretary, and Hunt, principal, retired at the end of June to pursue activities they had put on hold for almost three decades. The community bid farewell during a June 3 Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Solis presiding and Conventual Franciscan Father Raymond Mallett, pastor, concelebrating. The Mass offered the opportunity for donations to the Cheryl Hunt School Scholarship, a way to honor the principal and to support financially challenged students and their families.Carey will go back to photography and writing, two hobbies or “passions” she discovered at the age of 10 when an uncle gave her a camera as a Christmas gift. Over the years she has developed both to some degree, and would like to improve even more. She also plans to spend more time with her husband, a Vietnam veteran and retired pilot who owns a small pilot training business in Hawthorne. Sometimes she likes flying with him to take photos from the air.Four years ago she wrote a children’s book, “Jack Kat Had a Day,” with illustrations by her son Joseph and already has ideas in mind for more volumes.Hunt, meanwhile, will spend much of her time gardening and getting more involved in her grandchildren’s life and also spending more time with her husband. A Eucharistic minister for the last 20 years at Our Lady of Guadalupe and neighboring St. James in Redondo Beach, she would also like to do some traveling.A convert to Catholicism from the Methodist Church, Hunt started her teaching career in public schools in Fremont and Anaheim, then taught second grade for 14 years at St. James School in Redondo Beach, where she resides.Following the suggestion of St. James’ principal to consider going into administration, she went back to school and in 1990 earned a master’s degree in education from the University of San Francisco. A year later she accepted the job at Our Lady of Guadalupe, where she met new secretary Carey, who says the pair “clicked” right away.“Our styles matched,” smiled Carey, 64, who had no experience working in schools. What kept them working together, she said, was the “true dedication” of the staff and faculty, which made parents and students feel comfortable and eventually everyone became an “extended family.”Hunt, who will turn 68 in August, said it has been rewarding to see the family community built at the school. Her biggest challenge was the transition to using more technology in the classrooms, but she was comforted, she admitted, to see how knowledgeable the children are in that field. Today, as in most Catholic schools, smartboards, Internet access, streaming video, TV networks, are among the classroom fixtures, and teachers are constantly being trained to better meet the community’s needs.“As the world changed and technology became the name of the game, she became ‘tech-savvy,’” said Carolyn Simon, an OLG parishioner and an active school parent for 16 years as former president of the Parent Teacher Council and member of the school's executive board.“She led the school into becoming a computer friendly, state-of-the-art institution,” continued Simon. “And when the recession hit and many families could no longer afford to attend private school, she was instrumental in developing plans to help our school survive and thrive.”Of Carey, Simon added, “She was cheerful, friendly, welcoming and sharp. I never saw her forget the name of one child or parent.” “I can’t picture a more solid definition of dedication,” said Tara Scully, a graduate of OLG School and now its first grade teacher. She credits the school and its leadership for her education degrees earned at Cal State Chico and Loyola Marymount University.Hunt — who will be succeeded as principal by April Beuder, from American Martyrs School — credited Father Mallett, pastor, for the accomplishments and praised him for his support and leadership. “He is a visionary, very focused,” she said.The respect and admiration is mutual.“Both [Hunt and Carey] were very dedicated women to the work of education of young people for the Church,” Father Mallett told The Tidings. “The friars of Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary, the friars of my Province and I are extremely grateful for the dedication and years of service of Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Carey to our school and our parish.”Our Lady of Guadalupe will open a preschool for the 2012-13 school year, directed by Dr. Marianne Mitchell. A story of the new preschool will appear in a future issue of The Tidings.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/0720/spolg/{/gallery}