For much of the 20th century, Catholic priests and nuns dominated the education system in Belize - from administration to classroom teaching. Now, there are a scarce few still around at Catholic cornerstones such as SJC, Palotti and SCA.

Up until June of last year, Sister Margaret was one of the last Sisters of Mercy still on staff at SCA. She ran the show as the Dean of Discipline at the all-girls school for many years.

Now, when you hear about a nun as the Dean of Discipline, it evokes all those enforcer stereotypes about a strict Catholic Education - but Sister Margaret defied, or perhaps re-defined the stereotype. She changed the way many students looked at the words discipline and demerit.

Now at 82 years old, Sahar Vasquez sat down with Sister Margaret to glean the wisdom of a career of service.

Sahar Vasquez reporting
For those who truly know her, just say the name Sister Margaret, and you're sure to get an instant smile.

That's because this Sister of Mercy perhaps truly embodies that elusive quality of mercy and compassion. Born and raised in Belleville, Rhode Island she jumped at the opportunity to join the sisterhood in 1953.

Now, being a nun is not a profession many women jump at - because it's so restrictive - especially for those wanting a family. But that didn't deter a young Margaret Salisbury. She had many different aspirations as a child but all those vanished when she was inspired by a Sister.

Sister Margaret Salisbury, Sister of Mercy
"I grew up in a small little Mill Village. We didn't have a Catholic school and two sisters of Mercy came to teach us religious summer school and on was Sister Pinelda. I had her. The first recess we had we went out and she played ball with us and I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a sister."

When Sister Margaret first came to Belize in 1992, she was initially working as a volunteer at our Lady Of Guadeloupe Mercy Center but her heart desired something more. She wanted to help inspire young people and she got that chance when she was offered a job as a teacher at Saint Catherine's Academy.

After teaching for a while she was then promoted to the Dean of Discipline.

She retired last year at the age of 81. Her life was spent in service of others; it involved great sacrifice but she says she doesn't regret a thing.

Her passion for young people kept the flame alive.

Sahar Vasquez, reporter
"You have been doing this for a very long time. What is the flame that keeps you going to do this?"

Sister Margaret, Sister of Mercy
"I believe it is my passion for young people."

"I have always liked to work with young people and that is my passion and teaching is also my passion and so when I got up in the morning I was not fearful of what would happen I was looking forward to the day."

Sister Margaret has a large following of fans ranging from students to teachers and even parents. She has positively impacted and even changed the lives of many.

And while she retired more than a year ago, her absence is still felt by many of the girls, because their confidante is no longer always around.

Katia Pariente, Student
"I miss you and I miss how you used to keep SCA and the lunch line so orderly and how you use to greet me in the morning and tell me a joke. I just miss your presence around the school."

Kayla Mahler, Student
"She is just always there for you and she is always telling jokes you can always talk to her whenever you have problems or whatever. She is always there for everybody."

Naya Bodden, Student
"To me, it was the way that she comforted us because every morning she just would come with a welcoming hug and she was always there if you had a problem so she was easy to talk to."

Sister Margaret has a special relationship with each and every girl she comes in contact with on the school grounds and it stems from her willingness to open her heart and mind to them no matter what the circumstance may be.

Sister Margaret Salisbury, Sister of Mercy
"I don't know if you are one of those students that I have said to so many but the minute you walk through that gate you're my girl and I believe that. Once you walk through that gate we have a special relationship and I want that relationship to grow."

Sister Margaret doesn't let her age affect her spirit or work ethic. She currently volunteers at the Guadeloupe Mercy Center twice a week, and continues to check up on her girls.

Channel 7