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Anne Wachter, RSCJ, Head of Sacred Heart School, Halifax

Anne Wachter was born in Omaha into a family of six children. With six first cousins living just across street, Sister Wachter learned early that we are all part of a bigger picture. Sister Wachter attended St. Margaret Mary’s elementary school, then Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. At the dawn of adolescence, she found God on the golf course—this, and the leadership positions she held in high school (President of the Girls’ Athletics and Activities) helped to shape her into the woman she would become.

During her time at Duchesne Academy, Sister Wachter met Sisters Shirley Miller and Carol Haggarty, and both impacted her life. They were not her first introduction to Religious of the Sacred Heart, however; in fact, she had been around the Society her whole life. Not only did she have a great-aunt on her father’s side who was a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart, but her mother had attended Sacred Heart schools. Later in life, her mother confided: “The Sacred Heart made me who I am.”

At the young age of sixteen, Sister Wachter began considering religious life. Unaware of how to address or act on this calling, she spoke with Sister Miller who advised Anne to go to college, have fun, be herself, and keep listening to the call. Following Sister Miller's advice, Sister Wachter attended St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Straight out of college, Sister Wachter was hired to work as the Director of Public Relations and Recruitment at Duchesne Academy. Two years later, feeling the same call as she had when she was sixteen, she applied to become a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Sister Wachter made her first vows on June 18, 1989 at Newton Trinity Chapel, Massachusetts.

At this time, Sister Wachter began teaching mathematics at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Here, she loved being full time in the classroom with the kids. This love continued when she became the head of the boarding school at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1992. After two years, she moved to Grand Coteau, Louisiana to serve as administrative assistant at the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

From Grand Coteau, Sister Wachter spent half of the 1995-96 academic year in Mexico learning Spanish, and half in Rome preparing for Final Vows which she made on June 9, 1996. She moved to San Francisco, where she completed in one year an intensive MA in Educational Administration. In 1997, she began a 15-year commitment to the Sacred Heart Schools of San Francisco, serving first as the Dean of Students for the middle school girls and then for 12 years as the Head of Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary School. The joy she felt in her previous ministries in working with the students was not only brought back, but expanded to the elementary years and extended to parents and faculty in new ways.

In 2012, Sister Wachter began her current ministry as Head of School at the Sacred Heart School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Here, she continues to feel a deep sense of purpose knowing that the focus is on the students, God’s love and the Goals and Criteria that tie together the program. One of Sister Wachter’s favorite parts of working in schools, no matter in what position, is seeing the impact of a loving and committed community on people’s lives. “It is amazing what can happen when people feel included, that they belong and are respected!” In her role as Head of School, she has received many letters from past students and their parents expressing the importance of lessons learned and skills developed during the Sacred Heart years. It is humbling, she said, to see the way Sacred Heart education shapes lives, sets young people on the road towards wisdom, and values significant contributions as much or more than successful outcomes. This is something Sister Wachter cherishes.

Sister Wachter shares the Society’s mission to discover God’s love and make it known, in ways both big and small. "God’s love is the basis for the love we have for ourselves and each other," she says. "God’s love is what unites us and makes us hopeful."