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 6 during the President's New Year assembly, faculty and staff celebrated the Year of the Pig. Some were honored with awards that allow them to pursue professional development, and others were recognized for their contributions to the community. What began decades ago with the awarding of two honors now includes seven, all of which are supported by endowed gifts.
Following an opening reflection from Paul Pryor Lorentz, last year's Esther Rossi Award winner, President Krejcarek and the Faculty Staff Development Committee (FSDC) announced this year's recipients.
2019 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. With this award, Paul McNees, Convent Elementary Learning Specialist, will travel to Finland, where he plans to spend one week studying the curriculum and pedagogy, or "the magic," as Paul puts it, behind Finland's schools.
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 Reba Sell, Associate Librarian and Archivist, who plans to travel to England to attend a course of Philosophy in Literature at the University of Oxford. "The knowledge that I would gain through this course," Reba wrote in her proposal, "would enable me to better prepare students and faculty for evaluating literature and philosophy in texts for both International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and college preparatory courses."
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 and 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 Samantha Tabarez, Alumni & Constituent Relations Director. Before presenting the award, the FSDC described Sam as "the 'force' behind so many community events," who is "welcoming and inviting to all generations of Children of the Sacred Heart."
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. This year's recipient is Digital Literacy and Design faculty Doug Grant, who the FSDC introduced as "an inspiration to generations of students to be their best and to joyfully engage their learning."
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.
The following faculty members received this year's Fusco Family Awards:
The Ellie Fusco Heart of an Educator Award
Zoë Scott, Convent Elementary Grade 3 Faculty
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Millie Fusco
Christine Yuen, Stuart Hall Middle Form Mathematics Faculty
The Fusco Family Award in honor of Larry Fusco
Arnaz Raj, Stuart Hall Middle Form Science Faculty
The celebration in the Mary Mardel, RSCJ Chapel concluded with Eric Gordon — last year's recipient of the Sister Ann Conroy Award — reflecting on his trip to Turkey and Georgia last summer.