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Tough Teacher Inspired Students

Sister Diane Marie Collins nurtured Zoraida's passion for speech and drama



    Zorida Sambolin visits with former teacher Sister Diane. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010)

    Call her a divine inspiration.

    Sister Diane Marie Collins taught at Madonna High School while I attended there years ago. The school has been torn down. However, my memories of Sister Diane and her English class are treasures in my mind and heart.

    I remember Sister Diane as tough but with a purpose.  She considers that a compliment.

    "I was a teacher who again tried to look at the ability of her students and tried to pull out of them their talent and their giftedness, which sometimes they did not realize they had," she said.

    Sister Diane nurtured my passion for drama and speech. Her high expectations pushed each of her students to soar beyond their expectations.

    Currently, she is the general minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, which basically makes her a mother superior.

    That's fitting since for many years she served as our mother and our teacher.

    "As I look back on that I also think I was this young teacher teaching all these young women who was really the force behind me," she said. "One was my God, and the other was my community."