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 for contributions made to the community. See who was honored this year.
On February 7 during the President's New Year assembly, faculty and staff celebrated the Year of the Dog and some 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 supported by endowed gifts.
Following an opening reflection from Helen Leong-Luke, last year's Esther Rossi Award winner, President Ann Marie Krejcarek and the Faculty Staff Development Committee announced this year's recipients, who each accepted a certificate while being showered by applause from their colleagues.
2018 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 beloved Sacred Heart educator. Each year, elementary faculty apply for the award in pursuit of a specific professional development opportunity or personal enrichment. Eric Gordon, Stuart Hall for Boys History & Social Sciences Faculty, was honored with the award, which he will use to explore Turkey. Eric plans to take an architectural tour of Istanbul, participate in a workshop on Islamic design and art, and visit Catal Huyuk, one of the earliest permanent human settlements. "As a social studies teacher, the country's history is crucial to my curriculum," he wrote.
Sr. Ann Conroy Award
The Sister Ann Conroy Fund for Faculty Excellence was established in 2013 in honor of another longtime Sacred Heart educator. This award application process is open to all high school faculty and Central Services staff for pursuits of personal enrichment. This year's award recipient is Shannon Halkyard, Stuart Hall High School Science Faculty, who plans to travel to Paris, France this summer to delve into the connection between chemistry and French cuisine. "The classes I teach focus on chemistry from historical and culinary perspectives, as well as traditional scientific ones," he wrote.
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. This year's award recipient is Paul Pryor Lorentz, Religion, Theology & Spirituality Department Chair and Faculty.
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 Convent & Stuart Hall whose children attended the school. 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 who exemplifies excellence in his or her work for the school. Karen Niehaus presented the award to Amanda Walker, Library Department Chair.
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 his or her all in the classroom while making sure the hearts and minds of 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.
A friend of Ellie's and the trustee of her estate, Anne Mori, was able to attend the awards celebration and help honor these faculty:
The Ellie Fusco Heart of an Educator Award
Rachel McIntire, Visual Arts Department Chair & Faculty
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Millie Fusco
Bonnie Fraenza, Performing Arts Department Chair & Faculty
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Larry Fusco
Geoff De Santis, Plant Operations Director
The celebration in the Mary Mardel, RSCJ, Chapel concluded with Ben Su — last year's recipient of the Sister Ann Conroy Award — reflecting on his six-week trip to Amman, Jordan last summer where he studied Arabic.