Alumni Spotlight: Mona Tehle'78
When did you attend IWA and what was your graduation date?
I started kindergarten in the fall of 1965 and graduated thirteen years later in the spring of 1978.
Did any other family members attend IWA?
My older brother attended elementary school with me at IWA. Our late cousin, Sister Carmen Barrientes, was our first grade teacher.
How do you think your IWA education has influenced/benefited you?
The thirteen happy years I spent on the IWA campus have shaped my life most significantly by providing me with a solid spiritual foundation. After falling away from the church for several years as a young adult, I found myself drawn back as I matured, married, and started a family. Even now, thirty-five years after leaving the IWA campus, I feel the influence of IWA and its wonderful sisters and lay teachers every day as I strive to be an example of strong, faithful Catholic adulthood for my family. When I see one of my sons extending a kind hand to a classmate or stopping on the street to give a few dollars to a homeless person, I see the influence of my Catholic education flowing through me to them. And as I watched my husband, a lifelong Presbyterian, embrace the Church and convert to Catholicism, I knew his decision was inspired by my strong faith, instilled in me during my years at IWA. Every day, I am grateful to my parents for giving me the wonderful gift of a Catholic education.
What person/faculty member made the biggest impression on your life while at IWA?
Mrs. Jewel Shaw taught me how to write well. She was always so dedicated and serious about her responsibilities as a teacher but also very kind. And Sister Philomena McCormack was so sweet and always tried to make history interesting for a classroom of bored teenagers. We all loved to try to make her blush – she would turn bright red and then giggle at herself.
After graduating from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting, I worked in auditing and accounting for various companies in San Antonio and Dallas, including Arthur Young, Coca Cola, and the Belo Corporation. Our family of four moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2004 after many years in Dallas. My husband, David, is the Chief Financial Officer of the Dollar General Corporation, and our two sons, Nick and Tony, are students and athletes at Father Ryan High School. Our entire family is active in our parish and Catholic schools. My sons and I have volunteered countless hours running the Room in the Inn program at our parish (a food and shelter program for homeless men). My husband and I also volunteer our time as Eucharistic Ministers and as trustees for our sons’ elementary and high schools.