Mary Mackbee

At this time the MN Governor Walz is allowing some businesses to partially reopen with Social Distancing and reduced capacities.   Our regular meeting venue the DoubleTree by Hilton is unable to accommodate a group of our size.   So we have CANCELLED all face to face club activities for July and August.  We will keep you posted on status for our future meetings.  To help club members keep connected, share our optimism and bring some positivity to your day we will hold our monthly club lunch meeting using Zoom technology, during these unprecedented times.

Members please watch for an email invitation to our virtual lunch gathering.

Thank You in advance for your help and understanding during these very challenging times.   I remind you to continue to focus on your health, family, friends and the community with optimism and to live the Optimist Creed.

Yours in Optimism,
Terry K Gorman
Club President


Mary Mackbee is the recently retired Principal of St. Paul Central High School. She served 26 years in her challenging leadership role. One board member has said, “She made the school a light in the community – – the place will never be the same.”

Mary was born and raised in New Orleans. Influenced early by dedicated and caring African-American teachers, she knew teaching was her calling. After graduating from Xavier University she accepted a teaching position in Minnesota. During a distinguished 50-year career, she helped change the face of public education in St. Paul public schools.

She became the first African-American appointed as a high school Principal. Under her leadership Central became a beacon of urban academic  excellence.

She has received many honors and awards throughout her career including Century College’s Woman of Distinction, The International Baccalaureate Inspiration Award, and the HERBIE Award, named after Olympic U.S. Hockey coach, Herb Brooks.

She has mentored hundreds of principals and assistant principals in her career. Her legacy is one of deep care and compassion for each person: student, staff, and parent. She inspires and encourages all to be the best she or he can be in the world.

Her presentation on “Reflections and Lessons Learned from 26 Years
of Educational Leadership” will be informative, relevant, and inspiring.

When: Friday, July 10th, 2020
From: 11:30 to 1:30 PM