Obituary: Mrs Mariel Howard

For many of us in SCEA, Mrs Mariel Howard was a household name who was incredibly intelligent, hard-working and very caring to the students in her care. For her family, she was a dutiful mother and loving wife. This week we remember a lady who hailed from Finland but spent most of her life working in SCEA and changing the lives of many, with a commitment to excellence and love for all people.  

Mariel began teaching at Swan Christian College (SCC) in 1997, devoting more than 25 years of service in SCEA schools across the SCC: Junior Campus, Kalamunda Christian School, SCEA Head Office and most recently at SCC: Senior Campus as Languages Coordinator.

Mariel was an inspiring individual who made a lasting impact on everyone she encountered. Her unwavering belief in God and her strong commitment to her family, colleagues, and friends made her an invaluable presence in their lives.

Ex-SCEA staffer and colleague Mrs Mathilda Joubert remembered her friend as a passionate educator and an influential colleague:

“Mariel touched the lives of many with her joy for life, her love of learning, and her boundless energy and enthusiasm. Mariel had passion, she had conviction, and she took the initiative. No one else could have pulled off something like SCEA-Vision, the inter-school languages celebration coordinated by Mariel for many years!

“Mariel did not only shape the lives of the children she taught, but she also influenced the professional growth of many colleagues, including myself. Her passion for learning and her commitment to excellence has motivated us all to be better educators and to aspire to excellence. I loved how she mentored, encouraged, supported, and challenged other teachers to improve continuously. When working with the SCEA Languages teachers, Mariel had such high aspirations for all, coupled with beautiful compassion for everyone and where they were on their career journeys. Her impact on the lives of other educators really cannot be overstated.

“Her love and devotion to her two beautiful teenage children has been an inspiration to all of us who have watched her navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood with grace and strength. She poured her heart and soul into raising Byron and Isla, and the love and care she has shown them will stay with them for the rest of their lives. They were lucky to have Mariel as their mother as a constant source of support, guidance, and encouragement.”

Over the course of the 25 years in SCEA, Mariel seemed to be everywhere, and staff often talked of her boundless energy to enthuse and teach students in numerous subjects.

She was a source of laughter, comfort, advice and inspiration and Mariel’s impact on those around her will never be forgotten. She left an indelible mark on the lives of her children, students, colleagues, and friends, and her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us for years to come.

A recent Instagram post this week helped to personify the love and dedication that one former student had for Mariel’s dedication to education, and we have re-produced that post. Simply click the picture below to read the full text.

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