Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Cristina Cabrera Jarro
Photography: CRISTINA CABRERA JARRO | FC
MIAMI | Carmelite Sister Margaret Ann Laechelin, principal of Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School, drew plenty of media attention when she wielded a chainsaw to help clear debris after Hurricane Irma. One country singer was even moved to write a song about her.
“I walked into the lunchroom and said, ‘Hey, Sister! Guess what? Someone wrote a song about you’,” said Filippo Baglio, director of School Operations at ACC.
The Diocese of Nashville emailed Baglio a link to 18-year-old country music singer Dylan Schneider performing the song on Mornings with Ty, Kelly & Chuck, on radio station NASH FM 92.9.
The morning show features a #10MinuteTune which invites guest artists to write a song about any topic in the news. The morning of Sept. 13, Sister Margaret Ann was making headlines.
“That was the only thing we could find at the time that was good and right in front of us,” said Schneider.
He sang: “Everyone out there pitching in, lending a hand...there’s one in particular, Sister Margaret Ann, wielding that chainsaw, chopping up them tree limbs, makes us want to bow down and say ‘Amen.’ Look at you go, Sister. She’s a do-it-herselfer, holy helper, Sister Margaret Ann.”
Baglio shared the performance with the faculty and with Sister Margaret Ann, who reacted with joy and some embarrassment. Realizing it would be a great treat for the students to hear the tribute performed live, Baglio contacted Schneider’s management team, who replied their approval within an hour.
Schneider, his father Jamie, and cameraman/director of production Randy Shaffer arrived at ACC Oct. 5. They flew in on a red-eye flight from Las Vegas, where Schneider had performed at a concert benefitting the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting.
Schneider had performed at the festival hours before the shooting started.
“That experience changed me forever and I’m trying my best to stay strong and look on the positive side,” Schneider said during the ACC school rally where he played the Sister Margaret Ann song and a few others.
He recalled the panic of that night in Vegas. Though he and his team made it out safely, he said he still feels for those injured and killed.
“They have been on my mind the most,” said Schneider, who has asked for prayers across social media platforms.
At ACC, he reminded the students about the value of gratefulness. “You gotta thank every single person that’s there for you and tell them you love them before you leave them.”
He also invited students to help give back to the local community, especially those affected by Hurricane Irma, by purchasing (Code)word Hats. They were created to benefit victims not only of Irma, but also of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Each hat sold provides 21 meals to either the South Florida or Houston food banks.
“It’s great for us to have Dylan here with our students,” said Sister Margaret Ann, who also was honored by the Florida Panthers hockey team as a "local hero" Oct. 7. “He’s a great example for our kids with helping others.”