Every year, President Ann Marie Krejcarek and the Faculty Staff Development Committee give seven awards to faculty and staff, two for special professional development opportunities and five more for contributions made to the community. See who was honored this year.
During the President's New Year celebration on February 1, faculty and staff were honored with awards that allow them to pursue professional development or that recognize their contributions to the community. What began decades ago with the awarding of two honors now includes seven awards, all of which are funded by endowed gifts.
Following an opening reflection from Erwin Wong, last year's Esther Rossi Award winner, President Ann Marie Krejcarek and the Faculty Staff Development Committee announced the recipients, who each accepted a certificate while being showered by applause from their colleagues.
2017 Awards and Recipients:
Sr. Mary Mardel Fund
The Sister Mary Mardel Fund for Faculty Excellence was established in 1997 by gifts to an endowed fund, in honor of the longtime Sacred Heart educator and beloved administrator. Each year, elementary faculty apply for the award in pursuit of a specific professional development opportunity or personal enrichment. Nancy Morris, RSCJ, was on hand for this year's awards ceremony to help honor Liana O'Brien, Convent Elementary Religion Faculty & Enrichment Coordinator. Liana will use the award to help integrate mindful teaching with body awareness and movement. "I believe yoga is the perfect platform for this," wrote Liana in her application, "and I plan to use the funds to support my training certification."
Sr. Ann Conroy Award
The Sister Ann Conroy Fund for Faculty Excellence was established in 2013 in honor of another longtime Sacred Heart educator and beloved administrator. This award application process is open to all high school faculty and Central Services staff for pursuits of personal enrichment. Sr. Nancy Morris also helped to award the Sr. Conroy award to Ben Su, Studies in Literature & English Language Faculty at Stuart Hall High School, who plans to spend six weeks this summer studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan. "I hope that my learning Arabic and becoming more conversant in the literature and culture will enrich my teaching," wrote Ben.
Esther Rossi Excellence Award
The Esther Rossi Excellence Award is given each year to an employee of the school who has made outstanding contributions to our tradition of excellence, focused particularly on Goal 4 of the Goals & Criteria: the building of community as a Christian value. The award was established and continues to grow thanks to the support of members of the Rossi family, in honor of their beloved mother, grandmother, aunt and grand-aunt. She was a devoted alumna of the San Francisco College for Women at Lone Mountain. Rossi family members Dick Wall and Denise Wall were able to attend the celebration and help present the award to Helen Leong-Luke, longtime Physical Education Faculty at Convent Elementary.
The Niehaus Family President's Excellence Award
The Niehaus Family President's Excellence Award was established in 2013 by Joe and Karen Niehaus, longtime supporters of the school whose children attended Convent & Stuart Hall. Additionally, Joe served on the Board of Trustees for seven years, with one term as Chair. The Niehaus family established the fund so that the President could select a recipient each year that exemplifies excellence in their work for the school. Karen Niehaus presented the award to Michael Campos, Religion Faculty at Stuart Hall High School.
The Fusco Family Awards in Support of Educational Excellence
In November 2015, the school received a gift from the estate of Elvera "Ellie" Fusco, a beloved friend of the school. Her bequest established an endowed fund to support faculty salary and benefits. President Krejcarek, in collaboration with the estate trustees, wanted to honor Ellie's passion for education through the establishment of three awards presented each year in honor of Ellie, her sister Millie and their brother Lorenzo (Larry).
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Ellie Fusco is presented to a faculty or staff member who has the true "heart of an educator," someone who gives their all in the classroom while making sure the hearts and minds of his or her students are activated and engaged. The award in honor of Millie is presented to a faculty or staff member whose work with students inspires passion and aspiration. The award in Larry's honor is presented to a staff person who shines in his or her work with students as a coach or service learning mentor.
Friend of Ellie's and trustee of her estate, Anne Mori, was able to attend the awards celebration and help honor these faculty:
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Millie Fusco
Heather Wells, Modern & Classical Languages Department Chair & Faculty
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Larry Fusco
Ray O'Connor, Religion Faculty & Service Learning Director at Stuart Hall High School
The Ellie Fusco Heart of an Educator Award
Cathy Cannon-Corea, Stuart Hall Lower Form Faculty
The assembly in Mary Mardel, RSCJ, Chapel, concluded with Carlo Fiatarone — last year's recipient of the Sister Mary Mardel Fund — playing conga drums, which he studied on a trip to Cuba to support the co-ed African Drumming elective he teaches to Middle Form students.